As if the recent news of every Tom, Dick and Harry out in Hollywood creeping on women in every way imaginable weren’t enough, now comes news that a smart sex toy manufacturer may have been caught creeping on consumers—specifically with a predilection to eavesdrop on lovers in mechanical delicto.
The story comes via Reddit: A Lovense remote control vibrator app recorded sessions without the permission of at least one user.
It was bound to happen (again).
In this episode of the Wild West Days of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices we bring you a Redditor who discovered a .3pg file while looking through phone media to prep for a factory reset. The file in question contained “a FULL audio recording 6 minutes long of the last time I had used the app to control my SO’s remote control vibrator (We used it at a bar while playing pool).”
The company’s response (including typos) follows:
Regarding the sound file in question, it has already been confirmed that this is a minor bug – a temporary file that is created when someone uses the Sound Control feature. Your concern is completely understandable. But rest assured, no information or data is sent to our servers.
This cache file currently remains on you phone instead of deleting itself once your session is finished. Also, when the file is created it overwrites itself (no new files are created).
Our programmers have confirmed this bug on android and we are currently testing on iOS. We are also working on an update that will be released on November 10th 2017 that will make this file automatically delete after you stop using the sound function.
We hope this clears things up.
All Internet of Things-related devices should come with a warning: “You are relying on the manufacturer’s say-so regarding security, and the reporting of any possible insecurity. There is no way to know if this product is protecting your personal information.”
It makes sense to assume the worst and do a little background check before diving into this or that IoT experience. Convenience and fun are both good things, but not at the cost of personal security and privacy. Read more here.