American woman sues sex toy maker for tracking her movements

Her lawyer, Eve-Lynn Rapp of Chicago firm Edelson, said, "This is one of the more incredible invasions of privacy we've ever dealt with". (Library image)

A woman is suing a sex toy manufacturer in the US because it allegedly collected data from her vibrator telling it when and for how long she used it.

The Chicago-area woman, who is named only as N.P., bought a $130 ‘We-Vibe’, which looks like a horseshoe and bucks like a bronco (© RollOnFriday Toy Division). It can also be paired with an app which allows users to exchange text messages, engage in video ‘chat’ and control the We-Vibe remotely.

But as well as giving people the power to send loved ones rattling around the office at the touch of a button, the We-Vibe’s maker, Standard Innovation, is accused of enabling it to transmit “highly intimate and sensitive data” back to the company in real time. N.P. claims that the app beams the dates and times it is activated, other usage details and the email addresses of registered users to the company’s Canadian servers.

N.P. said she used the app “on several occasions“, but was never informed that Standard Innovation was collecting “personally identifiable” information.

Her lawsuit, which is seeking class action status on the behalf of thousands of frotters, claims the two-headed pleasure measure violates the federal Wiretap Act and the Illinois Eavesdropping Statute, by intentionally intercepting electronic communications without consent.

Her lawyer, Eve-Lynn Rapp of Chicago firm Edelson, said, “This is one of the more incredible invasions of privacy we’ve ever dealt with“.

A spokesman for Standard Innovations admitted, “we do collect certain limited data to help us improve our products and for diagnostic purposes”. But he said, “as a matter of practice, we use this data in an aggregate, non-identifiable form”.

N.P. is seeking unspecified punitive damages and a prohibition against We-Vibe collecting usage data without consent, and to have the company destroy all the data it’s currently got stored on top of its wardrobe.

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