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Sex toy maker faces class action lawsuit over tracking

Engadget Engadget 14/09/2016 Jon Fingas
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If you were creeped out by the thought of a sex toy creator collecting data about your usage habits, you're not alone. An Illinois woman has filed a class action lawsuit against the We-Vibe 4 Plus' creator, Standard Innovation, for allegedly violating laws covering everything from fraud through to eavesdropping and wiretaps. She'd used the connected, couple-oriented vibrator "several times" before she learned that it was transmitting data such as the intensity, mode and time of use. The company shows a "wholesale disregard" for privacy rights, the anonymous woman claims.

Standard Innovation previously said that it's only collecting info for its own research, and that it was largely anonymous. Also, it has been taking steps to mend its ways: it's clarifying its terms of service in the name of transparency, and letting you opt out. However, that doesn't change the situation for the plaintiff. She received the vibrator in May, months before the Def Con presentation that revealed the We-Vibe 4's privacy issues. And it's not yet certain that Standard Innovations are enough. Shouldn't tracking be opt-in, instead of something you might only discover when it's too late?

There's no guarantee that this woman will get class action status for her case. If she does, though, the outcome could have a tangible effect on privacy for the Internet of Things. Device makers may be more hesitant to scoop up your info in the first place, or more likely to ask permission before they collect anything potentially sensitive.

Courthouse News Service

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