Now even your sex toys are spying on you

(Image: Standard Innovation Corp.)

It’s surveillance in the one place you really wouldn’t want: your sex life.

Dubbed the “number one couple’s vibrator,” the We-Vibe 4 Plus is the latest in internet-connected sex toys, allowing the user (or partner) to wirelessly connect a smartphone over Bluetooth to control the vibration intensity and mode. It also comes with internet connectivity so that your long-distance partner can control the device from anywhere.

special feature

IoT: The Security Challenge

IoT: The Security Challenge

The Internet of Things is creating serious new security risks. We examine the possibilities and the dangers.

The trouble is, it’s spilling your sexual secrets to its manufacturer.

Fusion was first to report the story that the We-Vibe 4 Plus tells its maker, Standard Innovation Corporation, the exact time and date when the device is being used, its temperature, and the type of vibration mode being used. That data is said to be used for hardware diagnostics to ensure the device remains safe.

There are two problems.

The first is that the site’s privacy policy doesn’t make any statement regarding collection of data. Fusion also couldn’t find any explicit reference to this in the app’s privacy policy.

But the second is how secure is the data it collects?

The company doesn’t say exactly how the data is transmitted or stored. We’ve said before that every company now has to be a security company, whether they make children’s toys, smart devices, or even sex toys. Not putting security first can be damaging down the line.

The company doesn’t say much on its website:

“We take much care in ensuring our customers’ privacy and security is protected. We-Connect data transmissions are encrypted and protected on secure servers,” it says. “All in-app partner communications (instant messages and photos) are cleared after a partner session and are not stored. We-Connect also has a discretion lock that, when enabled, only allows a person with the correct PIN access to the app.”

We’ve asked the company for more. A spokesperson for the company didn’t respond to emailed questions on Thursday.

An internet-connected sex toy may seem novel for the modern age, but it’s anything but fun and games when your sex life gets hacked.

Black Hat 2016