back to article Web-enabled vibrator class action put to bed

The case against sex toy maker We-Vibe, which agreed to pay out $3.75m for tracking owners' use, has finally been put to bed, with a judge yesterday signing off the settlement. Earlier this year We-Vibe's parent company, Standard Innovation, agreed to fork out following a privacy infringement lawsuit, and also said it would …

That's the best headline you could come up with?

"E-vibe trial reaches climax"

"users finally get satisfaction"

...

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Re: That's the best headline you could come up with?

The judge did better, "The Parties are directed to consummate the Settlement in accordance with its terms."

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Thumb Up

Re: That's the best headline you could come up with?

Finally a judge with a sense of humour. Promote that man to the supreme court forthwith!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That's the best headline you could come up with?

Exhausted defendant flaccidly agrees to settlement payment.

Releases limp press statement after litigation strategy peters out.

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Joke

Re: That's the best headline you could come up with?

Keeping what you do with your private in private, private

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Re: That's the best headline you could come up with?

Defendent firms up private parts for customers.

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Facepalm

Users e-mails?

So... how did the company get hold of the e-mail address? Did the vibrator somehow shake it out of its user or something?

That's the part I often don't get: if you're so concerned with privacy and such, then why do you supply the company with your e-mail address in the first place? Not just that: but also ensure that the software you're apparently using is also aware of said e-mail address?

Is it really that difficult to think straight and add 1 and 1 up? How hard can it be?

I own a Windows phone, older model. I like it, it does what I need, not too bad, but has one flaw: every picture I take is stored locally, but cannot be transfered directly from the phone to my (Windows) computer. Don't ask why, that's the part I never understood myself either. Instead you need to dump it to OneDrive, and then you can download it again using the PC. A Windows Phone which can't directly connect with Windows, leave it up to Microsoft to come up with such a genius concept.

My point though: the very moment I realized this I also knew that I was never going to use my phone for more personal pictures. Because.. Internet and such. Even though I honestly trust Microsoft to keep my stuff safe. Instead I'm using a digital camera whenever I need to (one which can act as USB mass storage).

And this is only about pictures, not about something a whole lot more private and intimate as a sex toy!

What were those people thinking?

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Re: Users e-mails?

Can't transfer pictures directly on Winphone?

That's odd, the one I had and my ex's can.

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Coat

Re: Users e-mails?

What's this about your ex's can now? Photos? Hmmmm...

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womdpws phone

"A Windows Phone which can't directly connect with Windows"

It can . I dont know what you're doing wrong, but it can. That in itself however is not a reason to have a windows phone. Get rid of it.

In other news - Yes , you can connect your apple phone to a windows pc and drag stuff off it *without* installing iTunes.

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What were those people thinking?

"What were those people thinking?"

Thats a good question. You gotta wonder why this thing needs an app , that they would have consciously installed. I guess maybe if the app is on a phone , and it acts as a remote / speed controller , it could get your email address from the phone without you having to tell it . but why? why would you want that? we need answers! and pictures!

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Re: What were those people thinking?

"In other news - Yes , you can connect your apple phone to a windows pc and drag stuff off it *without* installing iTunes"

syncios is a good one and free too.

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Re: What were those people thinking?

Possibly to have someone remotely control the toy. Using the camera and microphone for feedback guidance to reach the target zone.

Think of a mashup of a sensor laden dildo wirelessly connected with a Fleshlight with a sensor package and feedback mechanisms on both ends.

That maybe too cis for the normal crowd.

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Happy

Re: Users e-mails?

@ShelLuser Even though I honestly trust Microsoft to keep my stuff safe.

I can't believe you said that without a joke icon...

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Re: What were those people thinking?

Could you imagine those technical support calls? Yes - you need to pair your phone via bluetooth. Open settings ... (Some time later) So it is connected? Ok good - now turn the speed up a little. Ok - good. I am glad it is working. Is there anything else I can help you with? Oh - you would like me to stay on the line to make sure you do not have any more issues ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Users e-mails?

.... "Don't ask why" ......

Do ask why: lots of people will tell you that you can. All you need to do to transfer the photos from your phone to a Windows computer is connect them with a USB cable, unlock the lockscreen on the phone (for obvious security reason) then copy or move the photos with "File Explorer".

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Re: Users e-mails?

I downloaded the app.

I didn't provide my email directly, it is part of my Apple ID and when I download any app, the developer gets that information to create an account. The vibrator was made to be controlled remotely, by a partner who received an invitation on their phone, from my phone. Without an account, how would remote access be granted?

And this article leaves out what I (and the judge) think is most egregious- they were also monitoring the users BODY TEMPERATURE (a secret "feature" that we weren't told about), and correlating that to vibration time and intensity. They weren't monitoring our product use, they were monitoring our orgasms! And THAT was associated with our email addresses.

But I get it, you wouldn't use the cloud to store photos, and you wouldn't use an interesting new sex toy. I wouldn't be the least surprised if you hadn't heard about this toy before, as you're so obviously not the target market. Should we also get off your lawn?

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Email address?

Probably for notification of {cough} firmware updates.

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Re: Email address?

At least it's not software...

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Re: Email address?

Delivered straight to your wetware?

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Re: Email address?

....insertion of firmware updates?

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Threesome

The bit I don't understand is how come the vibrator transmits usage ( time and intensity ) to an app which could then connect to a third party. Why?

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Re: Threesome

To improve the user experience, of course. At least for exhibitionists, anyway.

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Coat

Re: Threesome

The bit I don't understand is how come the vibrator transmits usage ( time and intensity ) to an app which could then connect to a third party.

The bit I don't understand is why they didn't collect location as well.

My coat is the one with the holes in the pockets...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Threesome

Why? Because IoT, that's why.

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Re: Threesome

The bit I don't understand is how come the vibrator transmits usage

Cos they (the makers) told it too! it didnt happen by accident. Then they got told off

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Re: Threesome

The bit I don't understand is why they didn't collect location as well.

There are really only a couple of options for location

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Re: Threesome

unless you have the double ended one, then there are a few permutations

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Threesome

It's all about sharing nowadays.

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Re: Threesome

The bit I don't understand is why they didn't collect location as well.

Maybe so future "updates" would connect it to your FB status?

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Cynicism

The cynic in me wonders if any crime would have been committed if the server had been in California rather than in Canada.

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Facepalm

Did privacy groups tell Standard Innovation to 'buzz' off ?

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Coat

Not exactly the way buyers were

expecting to be screwed.

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Paris Hilton

Didn't see that coming.

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Jokes aside, what possible use is that data? I get a lot of things use it for targeted ads. But this is really, really specific. Email and intensity tells you nothing.

Maybe there'll be ads in future at the side of the page saying "We know you like it rough, Sarah"

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Coat

@ samzeman

"...what possible use is that data?

I'd guess that they could use it to know the success rate of their different models, as to improve their designs and "please the customers",

They could also test small tweaks for their software, think "Switch the device automatically off after 5 minutes of cardiac inactivity" or "Activate speaker and insert block of ads". ;^)

Oh! and extortion!

Regarding the part about ads, that would be a nasty scenario, but there are worse:

Owner: "iJumpy, STOP!"

iJumpy: "I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave."

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If nobody uses it on low intensity then future devices can be upclocked a little.

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Might be used to tune the available range for settings. If no one uses the least setting, then the range could be adjusted upward on newer models.

The other end would be >90% are using the Max setting then up the Max.

They wouldn't need specific user identity.

I would venture someone added the email connection just because and without thinking about any negative effects.

Not too many of those involved in product development think of how an end user might perceive the invasion of privacy.

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Anonymous Coward

Everyone is after your f*cking data.

Where will it end?

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Paris Hilton

Opportunity in disguise...

Given the number of exhibitionist type sites out there, I'd have thought the ability to uploads one's orgasms would be a selling point for them...

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We have enhanced our privacy notice, increased app security, provided customers [with] more choice in the data they share, and we continue to work with leading privacy and security experts to enhance the app.

Umm - That doesn't sound to me like they have they actually stopped collecting the data. Just that they've done the minimum possible to "notify" the user (provided they know where to look) and given them the chance to opt-out somehow.

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Vibrators...

Free vibrators

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Anonymous Coward

They should add optional LEDs ...

... for flashers, naturally.

I'll get my dirty raincoat.

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It's a law enforecement issue

We are all aware that it is dangerous to use a mobile phone while diving. It is far more dangerous to use a vibrator while driving - but plod cannot readily tell when a person is doing so. Therefore it is important to keep a remote log of times of use in order to allow for successful prosecutions.

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Trollface

Re: It's a law enforecement issue

I was not aware in fact. Dangerous to your phone perhaps? unless its one of those waterproof models...

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I've just had an idea ...

Add some bristles to one side of a vibrator and it could be used as an electric toothbrush as well as a sex toy. In fact one person could be using it to clean their teeth while another is using it to achieve sexual satisfaction, thus saving on battery power.

I'm off to see a patent lawyer ...

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Anonymous Coward

IoT

Internet of Twats

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Unhappy

The toy had two settings

normal and exhibitionist. Unfortunately the default was ....

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Android 6 - location

How does the app communicate with the device? In the case of an app running on Android 6, then, as a minimum, ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION needs to be enabled.

https://developer.android.com/about/versions/marshmallow/android-6.0-changes.html#behavior-hardware-id

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/33045581/location-needs-to-be-enabled-for-bluetooth-low-energy-scanning-on-android-6-0

From the general data that flows to Google from an Android device, would it not be possible to identify a particular Android device, it's location and type and id of peripheral devices?

In which case, Google will most probably be able to link the "activity and location" of "peripheral devices to a particular person, from correlating the Android device id and Google account

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oh! Oh! Canada

[ the national antherm of Canada to be re-named]

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