Canadian sex toy maker, Standard Innovation, has been accused of tracking data of its customers. Apparently, the company has agreed to a collective payout of up to a total of C$4 million for its users in the U.S., where the lawsuit was filed back in September 2016.
How Was The Spying Done?
According to BBC, the We-Connect app was the root of the problem. The app itself is connected to the We-Vibe vibrator which sends data back to the company, including details on temperature, settings, and usage. It is reported that those who used the app will be paid up to C$10,000 each. Meanwhile, those who bought the vibrator, but did not connect it to the app will receive $199 each.
How Does It Work?
Regarding on how it works, the app allows the user to control the vibrator's intensity via their mobile phone. It also allows the user to activate the said device via Bluetooth technology.
As for how it was discovered, two hackers who go by the names of "Goldfisk" and "Follower" at Def Con, a US hacking convention, gave a talk at the August 2016 event called The Internet of Vibrating Things. In the event, the two demonstrated as to how data is being sent from the We-Vibe vibrator to Standard Innovation. They also showed that it is possible for third parties to intercept the data and even take control of the device, which they labeled as a potential sexual assault.
Standard Innovation's Reason
When asked about why the company needed details about its customer's use of the device, their reason was that the data collected was for a market research purpose. However, some users did not think it was a valid reason and felt violated, as the information is particularly personal, hence the lawsuit.
Furthermore, the company also stated that there have been no breaches of their customers' personal data. In fact, there were even updates made regarding privacy practices and that the security changes made back in September were quite satisfactory.