Some bizarre tech news today: the Canadian sex toy maker We-Vibe has agreed to pay out $4 million CAD (about $3 million USD) to its customers. This was after it was caught shipping a “smart vibrator” which was said to be tracking its users without their awareness. A class action lawsuit was filed in an Illinois federal court. This led to We-Vibe’s parent company, Standard Innovation, being ordered to pay a total of C$4m to owners, with those who already used the product’s associated app being able to collect the full amount owed ( those who only bought the vibrator can claim up to $199).
The product in question, called the We-Vibe 4 Plus, is a £90 Bluetooth connected vibrator which can be controlled through an app. The marketing claims that the toy will “allow couples to keep their flame ignited – together or apart.” Its app-enabled controls can be activated remotely. Allowing, for instance, a partner on the other end of a video call to interact.
The data being collected from vibrator was being sent back to Standard Innovation, letting the company know about the temperature of the device and even the vibration intensity. Revealing intimate information about the user’s sexual habits
Standard Innovation had this to say about the incident:
“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.”