A few months back, the makers of We-Vibe smart sex toys found themselves facing litigation over the use of potentially intimate customer data. Last week, the company settled things for an undisclosed amount.
Makers Standard Innovation were subject to a class action lawsuit brought by users. The group alleged that the company's connected toys and mobile app collected real-time data on devices' vibration settings, temperature, and duration of use without
data-sharing turned off, for a totally private experience.
Violent threats have been made against a Spanish sex shop over its window display featuring a Christmas nativity scene made up of
The shop's website website reported that for three years ceramic dildos depicting Jesus, the Virgin Mary and Joseph have been put in the shop's window to great interest from local media.
However, this year the Toledo sex shop 203 reported an altogether more sinister response. A statement posted on the Non Sit Peccatum Facebook page claims people working at the sex shop have been the target of verbal aggression and the
premises have been vandalized by people related to religious groups in recent weeks.
One letter sent to the shop's owner, Hector Valdivielso, asks if he thinks it is amusing to make to make fun of the beliefs of millions of people and threatens violence .
The shop removed the display far a while explaining that at no time did they mean to offend anyone. However an online poll found that about 80% of responders supported the display, and so the display was restored.
Australian researchers have been looking into the data security for remote controlled sex toys.
Goldfisk and Follower got hold of the schematics for the We Vibe 4 Plus, a U-shaped vibrator that can be controlled via Bluetooth using a remote control or a smartphone app. The wireless functions mean the device's makers had to report its details with
the United States the Federal Communications Commission, and that filing allowed the hackers to figure out a way to crack the device.
It turns out it was fairly easy to hack, and find out what information the We-Vibe collects and transmits to the mobile app. The team managed to decipher the Bluetooth command strings and manipulate the We using a desktop computer. They reported the job
was relatively simple - the Bluetooth data string is only eight bytes long and the first byte controls the device's mode.
The two also found that the makers of the We collect exactly when the device is used, which of the ten vibration modes they are using, and even the temperature of the device. All this data is stored on corporate servers and in the terms and conditions of
the device the manufacturer reserves the right to pass it on to the authorities.
The Register notes that sex toys are illegal in many places - including Alabama, some parts of Georgia, and until recently Texas. Using such devices is a criminal matter and there have been prosecutions.
Ted Cruz has been claiming on the campaign trail that limit the reach of the federal government into people's lives.
Of course this claim is bollox. For instance in 2007, when he was solicitor general of the state of Texas , Cruz participated in a federal court case in an effort to maintain Texas's ban on the sale of sex toys.
In that case, two sex toy companies sued to render moot the state's ban on the sale of so-called marital aids . The state's ludicrous counterarguments, penned in part by the office run by Cruz, were that the use of sex toys was akin to hiring a
willing prostitute or engaging in consensual bigamy , and there is a state interest in discouraging prurient interests in autonomous sex and the pursuit of sexual gratification unrelated to procreation .
The state -- and Cruz -- further argued that the sale of sex toys in the state of Texas was somehow not an interference with the right to privacy for one's sexual activity as established by the US supreme court in Lawrence v Texas. In that case the court
found that there was no compelling state interest in interfering in the sexual lives of consenting adults, citing the privacy protections of the 14th amendment of the US constitution.
Cruz ultimately lost the argument with the Court recognizing that the Lawrence v Texas ruling was not simply a right to engage in the sexual act itself, but instead a right to be free from governmental intrusion regarding the most private human
contact, sexual behavior .
Presidential candidate Ted Cruz has seen the light and says he won't ban the sale of sex toys if he's president, BuzzFeed News reported. This is somewhat at odds with what he said when attempted to ban sex toys and masturbation when Texas Attorney
General. A brief co-authored by Cruz at the time said there is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one's genitals. He now claims:
What people do in their own private time with themselves is their own business and it's none of the government's business,
A radio presenter asked Cruz if he would ban the sale of sexual toys, dildos, or anything that sexually stimulates you, Cruz replied:
Look, of course not, it's a ridiculous question, and of course not.