We-Vibe, the vibrator manufacturer, has agreed to pay $3.75 million because their sex toys were tracking users' sexual activity without their knowledge, according to The Chicago Tribune.
The We-Vibe 4 is one of the company's bluetooth-connected "smart vibrators" which can be controlled through an app. It's advertised as: "With We-Vibe 4 Plus couples can connect in new, exciting ways — whether they’re in the same room or on a different continent."
The vibrator lets users text and video chat with partners, as well as remotely control the device through a smartphone. But, according to the lawsuit, the app also stored data on the date, time, usage details and email addresses to the company servers without the users' knowledge.
The app also collected and sent back data to the manufacturer's parent company about the temperature of the device and vibration intensity, according to The Guardian. Those details paired with users' personal information reveal users' intimate sexual habits.
Two plaintiffs filed a class-action lawsuit against the Canada-based company saying their data collection violated privacy and consumer fraud laws.
The company has agreed to a settlement of $3 million for people who downloaded the app and used it with a We-Vibe device and about $750,000 for people who purchased the devices alone, according to The Chicago Tribune. Each person who used the device and the app could receive up to $10,000, and those who simply purchased the device could receive up to $199. As many as 300,000 reportedly bought the vibrators covered by the settlement and about 100,000 used the app.
The terms of the settlement are still waiting for an Illinois court's approval. Standard Innovation, We-Vibe's parent company, released this statement to the press about the lawsuit: “At Standard Innovation we take customer privacy and data security seriously. 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. With this settlement, Standard Innovation can continue to focus on making new, innovative products for our customers.”