A sex toy company has been caught spying on its users
Since the dawn of the 21st century, humankind has made unbelievable progress into new technology. We've got smartphones, virtual reality, insanely advanced computers, and - while many of these new inventions or innovations have pretty much limitless possibilities in terms of how they could be used - they almost always end up being utilised for one purpose in particular: sex.
Just think about it: thanks to 4G, people can send and receive nudes from anywhere and everywhere. Because of virtual reality, there now exists a sub-genre of immersive pornography that allows the viewer to have a more interactive experience with the, uh, 'stars' of the film. And, due to progress made in robotics, there are literally brothels populated solely by sex dolls.
But of course, technology can't always be relied upon, as users of a particular sex toy recently found out.
A remote-controlled vibrator made by a company called Lovense has had to dish out $3.75 million in compensation after allegedly spying on people during their periods of alone time.
According to one unhappy customer on Reddit, an app attached used in conjunction with the vibrator was recording audio while the sex toy was in use, and saved a file to the user's phone:
"The lovense remote control vibrator app (used to control remote control sex toys made by lovense, such as this one) seems to be recording while the vibrator is on. I was going through my phone media to prepare it for a factory reset and came across a .3gp file named "tempSoundPlay.3gp" in the folder for the App. The file was a FULL audio recording 6 minutes long of the last time I had used the app to control my SO's remote control vibrator ...
"The app permissions allow for mic and camera use, but this was supposed to be for use with the in-app chat function to send voice clips on command. At no time had I wanted the app to record entire sessions using the vibrator."
Understandably, many users were horrified to find that their steamy sessions had potentially been recorded by the mic, while others were downright angry.
"What a time to be alive where our own damn sex toys are spying on us," wrote one user.
"Holy crap. I don't know if there's any wireless sex-related technology I would trust right now," said another. "Companies have too strong of a motive to spy on us."
Lovense, which is based in Hong Kong, was quick to take responsibility for the problem, and claimed that it was not intended to be part of the product's design.
A representative on Reddit addressed the issue, and assured users that their data had not been used by the company at all:
"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)."
The company also said that an updated version of the app would be available from November 10th, and that would automatically delete any saved audio files once the sound function was no longer being used.
Even so, it's pretty terrifying to know that your sex noises could be floating around in the cloud somewhere. Now that a lot of phones have our faces, fingerprints and personal information stored on there too, it seems like we're getting closer and closer to an army of convincing robots stealing our identities and taking over the place.
Nah, that's never going to happen really... or will it?