By Isabelle Chapman
A Texas lawmaker has proposed a bill that would fine a man $100 each time he masturbates.
Even the name is a jab
Talk About Hacking! Vibrator Maker To Pay Millions Over Claims It Secretly Tracked Use
By Camila Domonoske
The makers of the We-Vibe, a line of vibrators that can be paired with an app for remote-controlled use, have reached a $3.75 million class action settlement with users following allegations that the company was collecting data on when and how the sex toy was used.
Standard Innovations, the Canadian manufacturer of the We-Vibe, does not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement finalized Monday.
The We-Vibe product line includes a number of Bluetooth-enabled vibrators that, when linked to the “We-Connect” app, can be controlled from a smartphone. It allows a user to vary rhythms, patterns and settings — or give a partner, in the room or anywhere in the world, control of the device. (You can see a video promoting the app’s features here; be advised, it is briefly not safe for work.)
Since the app was released in 2014, some observers have raised concerns that Internet-connected sex toys could be vulnerable to hacking. But the lawsuit doesn’t involve any outside meddling — instead, it centers on concerns that the company itself was tracking users’ sex lives.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Illinois in September. It alleges that — without customers’ knowledge — the app was designed to collect information about how often, and with what settings, the vibrator was used.
The lawyers for the anonymous plaintiffs contended that the app, “incredibly,” collected users’ email addresses, allowing the company “to link the usage information to specific customer accounts.”
Customers’ email addresses and usage data were transmitted to the company’s Canadian servers, the lawsuit alleges. When a We-Vibe was remotely linked to a partner, the connection was described as “secure,” but some information was also routed through We-Connect and collected, the lawsuit says.
The unhappy users allege in their lawsuit that they never agreed to the collection of this data. Standard Innovations maintains that users “consented to the conduct alleged” — but instead of taking the case to court, the company agreed to settle. …