Vibrator Manufacturer Agrees to Pay $5 Million Lawsuit Settlement

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A Canadian manufacturer of vibrators, accused of secretly monitoring the sexual habits of hundreds of customers through a smartphone application, has agreed to pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit in the United States.

According to the agreement yet to be accepted by the court, Standard Innovation will pay American customers who bought the “We-Vibe” sex toy before September 26, 2016.

Users who have controlled the vibrator with the “We-Connect” app will get up to $10,000 US each – although the final amount will probably much lowers.

The Ottawa-based company will also have to destroy most of the personal data collected through the application.

These data include specific times of use, vibration intensity levels chosen by users, and temperature of the device, according to court documents.

Although the exact number of users is unknown, company records indicate that approximately 300,000 people purchased the Bluetooth-enabled “We-Vibe” product and more than 100,000 people downloaded and used the accompanying app.

According to media reports, app users will likely end up receiving around $500 US each, while the buyers of just the vibrator itself will get $ 40 US.  Residents of Canada are not eligible for this settlement.

The collective action was launched in September by a Chicago woman named NP who bought a “We-Vibe Rave” vibrator for $130 US in May 2016. A second applicant joined the collective action last month.

Consumers had to download the “We-Connect” app in order to be able to control the vibrator remotely via Bluetooth.

The application, which provided a secure connection, allowed partners to exchange messages, make video conversations and control the device.

Personal information, including user email addresses, was then sent in real time to the company’s Canadian servers, according to the complaint.

The collection of this information was considered to be of great concern since the data revealed intimate and private details about the sexual behavior of consumers that they believed to be confidential, subsequently causing anxiety for the consumers once this data collection came to light.

A hearing to accept the agreement is scheduled for August.

In a written statement, Standard Innovation conceded the agreement was fair and confirmed it has already taken steps to enhance the privacy of its customers and its data.


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