On March 10, 2017, a settlement was reached between the makers of the internet enabled vibrator, We-Vibe, and a proposed class of disgruntled users who claim that the product’s Canadian manufacturer, Standard Innovation, intentionally violated users’ privacy by covertly collecting decidedly intimate information. The suit, originally filed in Illinois federal court in September 2016 by two anonymous lead plaintiffs, claims that defendant Standard Innovation Corp collected extremely personal information about the product’s users such as the date and time of use, the vibration intensity level selected by the user and the user’s email address, all without permission.
The premise behind the $130 We-Vibe vibrator is to allow users to remotely take control of their partner’s vibrator through a Bluetooth connection. Users must first download the We-Connect app on their smart phones in order to access remote control of the product, as well as access other features such as customized vibrations and text and chat features. Plaintiffs claim that the information collected by the defendant violates the Federal Wire Tap Act as well as Illinois privacy statutes. In the settlement, Standard Innovation agrees to pay $3.75 million in damages. $3 million in damages will be allocated to the roughly 100,000 We-Vibe users who use the We-Connect app and the remaining $750,000 in damages will be allocated to approximately 300,000 purchasers of the We-Vibe vibrator.
Both parties in the suit appear to be pleased with the settlement results. Standard Innovation has also agreed to destroy all intimate consumer data that it has collected from users and has expressed a sincere desire to rebuild customer trust in the product.
The Case Is: N.P. v. Standard Innovation (US) Corp., Case No.: 1:16-cv-08655, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
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