Tuesday March 14, 2017

Vibrator Maker Fined $4 Million CAD for Tracking Customer Sexual Activity

Canadian vibrator manufacturer, We-Vibe, has been fined $4 million Canadian dollars for tracking their customer's sexual activity without permission. Not only did they track their sexual activity illegally, the IoT device was open to hacks. Customers that used the associated app with the device were tracked and entitled to the full payment amount of $10,000 CAD. All other customers were eligible for a $199 CAD payout.

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The vibrator was marketed as a way to "allow couples to keep their flame ignited آ– together or apart". The app not only collected heat data and usage activity for parent company Standard Innovation to track users, the IoT device was easily hacked by anyone on Bluetooth within range of it. So you might think that your partner is sending you some vibes, but it actually might be coming from the 1337 h4x0r on the bus with you. Creepy! Truth be told we've known that dildos connected to the internet were subject to hacking for years.

The flaws with the We-Vibe sex toy were first revealed at the Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas in 2016 by New Zealand-based hackers "goldfisk" and "follower". Speaking there, the pair argued that the problem was a "serious issue": "unwanted activation of a vibrator is potentially sexual assault", follower said.

In a statement given to press, Standard Innovation said: "At Standard Innovation we take customer privacy and data security seriously. We have enhanced our privacy notice, increased app security, provided customers [with] more choice in the data they share, and we continue to work with leading privacy and security experts to enhance the app. With this settlement, Standard Innovation can continue to focus on making new, innovative products for our customers."