It was only a matter of time before the Internet of Things caught up with sex toys and led to products like apps that remotely control vibrators from an Apple or Android device via a Bluetooth connection.
And now, one of those apps is accused of being a little too connected to its users.
Standard Innovation—the maker of the We-Vibe vibrator and accompanying app—is the subject of a federal privacy lawsuit. The suit, which seeks class-action status, claims the We-Vibe vibrator app chronicles how often and how long consumers use the sex toy and sends that data to the company’s Canadian servers. The suit says that the app also monitors “the selected vibration settings,” the vibrator’s battery life, and the vibrator’s “temperature” with consumer consent. The data, along with the person’s e-mail address, is stored on the vibrator-maker’s Canadian servers, according to the lawsuit. (PDF) The app also has a “connect lover” feature, enabling partners to exchange text messages, engage in video chats, and ”control a paired We-Vibe” device.
The suit was brought by an Illinois resident going by the pseudonym “N.P.” The suit said N.P. paid $130 for the We-Vibe Rave vibrator and has used it “on several occasions.”
“Though the data collected from its customers’ smartphones is undoubtedly valuable to the company, Defendant’s conduct demonstrates a wholesale disregard for consumer privacy rights and violated numerous state and federal laws,” the lawsuit says.
The suit alleges breaches of Illinois consumer fraud laws and the federal Wiretap Act:
By designing and programming We-Connect to contemporaneously monitor, intercept, and transmit the contents of electronic communications that Plaintiff and the Surveillance Class members sent to their We-Vibe devices from their smartphones, …