Friday, 09 December 2016 10:42

Vibrator maker settles suit over spying on users

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A Canadian vibrator company, that was caught storing details of vibrator settings used by purchasers and their personal email addresses on its servers, has agreed to settle a suit brought by a woman based in the US state of Illinois.

The company, Standard Innovation, and the complainant, known as N.P., have reached a settlement that will be finalised next month, according to a court document.

The document said the parties were now drafting a class action settlement agreement. The date for settlement has been set as 27 January 2017.

N.P. said in the suit filed in September that she had purchased a vibrator known as We-Vibe in May, according to a court filing which was linked to by the website Ars Technica.

A smartphone app known as We-Connect, provided by the maker, allows the device to be paired, using Bluetooth, and used to communicate remotely with anyone of the user's choice.

But the spying aspect of the app, the suit alleged, had not been made public.

"Unbeknownst to its customers, however, defendant designed We-Connect to (i) collect and record highly intimate and sensitive data regarding consumers’ personal We-Vibe use, including the date and time of each use and the selected vibration settings, and (ii) transmit such usage data — along with the user’s personal email address — to its servers in Canada," the lawsuit said.

The suit sought an injunction prohibiting the company "from monitoring, collecting, and transmitting consumers’ usage information, actual and statutory damages arising from the invasion of their personal privacy, and actual damages arising from the purchase of their We-Vibe, including the return of the purchase price of the product and disgorgement of profits".


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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