Canadian sex toy manufacturer We-Vibe has agreed to pay £2.4m after being accused of serious failures to protect customer data.
A class action lawsuit was initiated by two anonymous individuals, known as “NP” and “PS” who represented all customers affected by We-Vibe’s surveillance.
However, customers weren’t aware that the app had been specifically designed to “collect and record highly intimate and sensitive data” regarding the usage of We-Vibe products.
This data included the date and time of each use, details of vibration settings, temperature and battery life – all of which was linked to users’ personal email addresses within the company servers in Canada.
This was despite promising a “secure connection between… smartphones”, while the ‘connect lover’ feature operated.
The We-Connect app connected to its We-Vibe vibrator, and the data collected was sent back to the company, including details on temperatures, settings and usage.
A class-action lawsuit was filed in September 2016 by customers who alleged the company violated their privacy rights.
This week, the company agreed its payout for US customers who bought the product before 26 September last year.
We-Vibe’s parent company, Standard Innovation, told Motherboard in a statement: “As a matter of practice, we use certain limited data in an aggregate, non-identifiable form to help us improve our products.”
Customers who claim to have used the app to control the vibrator and provided their name and phone number to the company, are set to get up to $10,000. Those who purchased a We-Vibe connected device will receive up to $199.
The settlement only applies to customers in the US, and Standard Innovation says it has since enhanced its privacy notice and app security.