Sex toy firm faces messy UK legal case over data claims

we-vibeUK consumers are aiming to batter a Canadian sex toy manufacturer into submission over “a gross invasion of privacy”, which saw the firm collect data on customers’ sexual habits allegedly without their consent.
Standard Innovation, which, among other “gadgets”, markets the £160 We-Vibe Sync Remote & App Control Adjustable Couple’s Vibrator that features a Bluetooth-powered remote control.
It has already agreed to pay out over £2m in damages in the US – a move it insists was taken to avoid the prospect of a long and costly US litigation process – after consumers claimed it had been using information collected via its smartphone app-controlled devices without notifying them.
The company maintains it has done nothing wrong and that it was simply using the data to monitor for product defects.
Now, UK law firm Slater & Gordon says it has been approached by a slew of customers in the UK.
Head of group litigation Jacqueline Young said: “The people I have spoken to are understandably upset that intimate information about their sexual habits has been monitored and stored in this way alongside their email addresses.
“They are horrified at what they see as a gross invasion of their privacy and say they would never have downloaded and used the app if they knew this is what it involved.”
Young insisted that explicit consent is required to process such sensitive personal data under the terms of the Data Protection Act. “If this information has been harvested in the way alleged, then this constitutes a clear breach which we are now investigating,” she added.
The issue first came to light last year during a Def Con hacking conference in the US, where it was claimed that anyone within Bluetooth range of the device could take control of its settings.
At the time of the settlement, Standard Innovation said: “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.”
The company has yet to comment on the UK complaints.

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