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'Bug' Causes Smart Sex Toy To Secretly Record Customers: Privacy Breach In Smart Devices

11 November 2017, 11:45 pm EST By Athena Chan Tech Times
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Users of a smart sex toy reported that the device recorded their private moments without their knowledge. Is this another case of privacy breach via a smart device?

Secret Recordings

A user of the Lovense smart sex toy discovered that the app companion to the device had a six-minute recording of a private moment with a significant other. The app evidently made the recording while using the remote-controlled app paired with the smart vibrator, and was saved in the mobile phone's media storage.

Ideally, and as per the company website, the app is merely meant to turn the user's smartphone into a remote control for the sex toys. This may even be done in long distances as long as the partner also has the app and added as the user's friend. However, it was not meant to make a recording of the private moments, much less without the knowledge of the user.

It wasn't just an isolated incident as other users have also come forward with their own discoveries of the recordings. According to a representative for Lovense, the recording was caused by a bug and has since been fixed.

Privacy Breach Via Smart Devices

This isn't the first case of privacy breach when it comes to smart devices. Every day more people use smart devices at work and even at home. Everything seems to be connected to our smartphones from televisions to smart condoms, trash cans, and even children's toys. This begs the question of just how much people are willing to entrust to the Siri, Alexa, and the world wide web.

In February, hackers held CloudPets data for ransom after gaining access to 2 million messages from the company's unsecured server. This data includes the 800,000 personal accounts and 2 million personal messages of children that were recorded via the smart stuffed toys. That wasn't even the first time that a smart toy was compromised. Germany also banned the Cayla doll, a smart doll capable of connecting to the internet, in fears that the doll may breach the privacy of children.

Even the medical industry isn't safe from hackers which is why the FDA is continuously warning manufacturers of medical devices to keep safety and security of their products in mind, whether it's a pacemaker or larger hospital equipment. They've even released new guidelines for manufacturers as a measure to protect the medical industry from hackers and cyber-attacks.

As it stands, there is no turning back from a world of smart devices. Perhaps with all of these technological advancements, people also need to answer the question of just how much we are willing to share with the world.

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