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September 22, 2016

We-Vibe Sued for Alleged Data-Mining of Vibe App

CHICAGO – A lawsuit filed at federal court in Chicago claims the popular We-Vibe line of hi-tech vibrators covertly collects sensitive, personally identifiable information about users and transmits the data to manufacturer Standard Innovation.

The We-Vibe 4 Plus may be operated with a remote We-Connect phone app that adjusts mode, vibration, and even temperature. According to the complainant — a woman identified only by her initials — the vibrator stores information about a user’s settings during playtime. The information is attached to each user’s account by email address, which is the way most apps catalog user data.

The complainant alleges Standard Innovation did not make users aware the device gathers and catalogs personal information. She claims the data collection violates the federal Wiretap Act, which bars intentionally intercepting, disclosing or using the contents of any wire, oral or electronic communication through the use of a “device.” The complainant also alleges the We-Vibe’s data collection and storage violates other privacy laws and consumer-protection regulations.

Standard Innovation declined to comment on the suit but told Mashable it is updating the We-Connect app to provide in-app information about the company’s data-collection and privacy policies.

“We have engaged external security and privacy experts to conduct a thorough review of our data practices with a view of further strengthening data protection and privacy for our customers,” the company told Mashable in a prepared statement. “We are also committed to better communicating our data practices.”

The data-gathering ability of the We-Vibe 4 Plus emerged in August during the hacker conference DefCon. Two hackers demonstrated the vibrator could transmit information about temperature settings and vibration intensity. At that time, Standard Innovation said data gathered by the vibrators was “purely for diagnostic purposes.”

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