How Smart Sex Toy Manufacturers Are Collecting Your Most Intimate Data

An internet-connected vibrator maker recently lost a $3.75 million lawsuit for a security breach.

sex toy
E. Sensory founder Christel Le Coq (R) displays The Little Bird, a smart vibrator which activates as the user reads erotic stories, at the CES 2016 consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 7, 2016. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images

In our technophile society, it is no surprise that there are sex toys with advanced, cutting edge capabilities. Consider one toy in particular: the We-Vibe. This is a smart vibrator launched in 2003 and designed for partners who are in long-distance relationships or are otherwise unable to share the same physical space. The product’s associated app, We-Connect, allows one partner to control the other partner’s vibrations from anywhere in the world. You can also text or video chat during the experience. But, though these intimate moments seemed private, these smart vibrator customers were revealing much more than they knew. This is because more and more smart toys, like the We-Vibe, are collecting your personal information and there is little to stop their makers from sharing details about your most intimate moments with the rest of the world.

In response to concerns about the We-Vibe,  a woman filed a lawsuit in Chicago federal court against the massager’s Canadian manufacturer, Standard Innovation. The 2016 suit accused the company of several security breaches, one of which could allow anyone within Bluetooth range of the vibrator the ability to seize control of it. Other personal data was also collected and sent back to Standard Innovation. As a result of the suit, the company was forced to pay $3.75 million in damages to its customers. But it is far from the only smart sex toy out there. Competitors are learning from We-Connect’s mistake and supposedly keeping user privacy more top of mind, but each new product offers new and troubling opportunities for your most intimate of moments to be violated or profited from.

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