This remote-control sex toy app is secretly recording your intimate adventures

sex toy
Lovense
The rapid rise of the Internet of Things has certainly raised some privacy concerns, but when the “thing” is a sex toy, that takes it to a whole new level. The Lovense vibrator app, which allows a user to remotely control a “bullet vibrator,” was found to be secretly recording and storing audio files while it was in use.

A Redditor named tydoctor discovered the sound files while he was reviewing his phone storage in advance of a factory reset. “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 (We used it at a bar while playing pool),” he wrote.

A representative of Lovense responded on Reddit with a post claiming it was just a “minor bug” and the audio files were only saved locally. “Rest assured, no information or data is sent to our servers,” the company rep said. “This cache file currently remains on your phone instead of deleting itself once your session is finished. Also, when the file is created it overwrites itself (no new files are created).”

Lovense confirmed that the bug only affected Android users, and a later post announced that an new version of the app is now available for download from the Google Play Store. If you use this particular app, make sure you’re updated to version 3.0.7.

This isn’t the first time that Lovense and its “teledildonic” sex toys have seen some backlash over the connected nature of their products, as the International Business Times points out. Several months ago, a Bluetooth remote-controlled sex toy was hacked and activated, easily bypassing Lovense’s authentication.

In 2016, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the makers of the remote-control We-Vibe vibrator and associated phone app, which collected user’s data on company servers. In addition to email addresses, which linked specific users to their sex toys, the company also collected data on where and how often its customers used its products. Earlier this year, We-Vibe shelled out $3.75 million to settle the lawsuit, according to NPR.

The strange world of tech-friendly sex toys is booming, from sex robots to wearable devices, and security is not always the primary concern of manufacturers or users. Proceed at your own risk.

Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.
Health & Fitness

Looking to get in shape? These high-tech fitness gadgets will help

There are a number of great fitness devices that aren't smartphones or fitness trackers, providing functionality that those products can't while helping us to stay healthier and injury free in pursuit of our goals.
Mobile

Is somebody watching you? How to stop apps from tracking your location

If you don't like the idea of your every movement being tracked by apps on the phone in your pocket, then you may want to turn location tracking off. We take a look at how to do it on an iPhone or Android phone in this easy guide.
Mobile

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.
Emerging Tech

Bright ‘hyperactive’ comet should be visible in the sky this weekend

An unusual green comet, 46P/Wirtanen, will be visible in the night sky this month as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 20 years. It may even be possible to see the comet without a telescope.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous images show storms and cloud formations in the atmosphere of Jupiter

NASA's Juno mission arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and has been collecting data since then. NASA has shared an update on the progress of the mission as it reaches its halfway point, releasing stunning images of the planet as seen from orbit.
Emerging Tech

Meet the MIT scientist who’s growing semi-sentient cyborg houseplants

Elowan is a cybernetic plant that can respond to its surroundings. Tethered by a few wires and silver electrodes, the plant-robot hybrid can move in response to bioelectrochemical signals that reflect the plant’s light demands.
Emerging Tech

Beautiful image of young planets sheds new light on planet formation

Researchers examining protoplanetary disks -- the belts of dust that eventually form planets -- have shared fascinating images of the planets from their survey, showing the various stages of planet formation.
Emerging Tech

Delivery robot goes up in flames while out and about in California

A small meal-delivery robot suddenly caught fire in Berkeley, California, on Friday. The blaze was quickly tackled and no one was hurt, but the incident is nevertheless a troubling one for the fledgling robot delivery industry.
Emerging Tech

High-tech dancing robot turns out to be a guy in a costume

A Russian TV audience was impressed recently by an adult-sized "robot" that could dance and talk. But when some people began pointing out that its actions were a bit odd, the truth emerged ... it was a fella in a robot suit.
Emerging Tech

MIT’s smart capsule could be used to release drugs in response to a fever

Researchers have developed a 3D-printed capsule which can monitor patients' vital signs, transmit this information to a connected device, and release drugs in response to symptoms.
Emerging Tech

‘Crop duster’ robot is helping reseed the Great Barrier Reef with coral

In a world first, an undersea robot has delivered microscopic coral larvae to the Great Barrier Reef. Meet Larvalbot: the robot "crop duster" which dispenses coral babies on troubled reefs.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.
Features

Cities looking to get smart take a lesson from an iconic shopping mall

From Disney World to the Mall of America, public venues are becoming microcosms for smart city projects. We dove into both, to show what government officials can learn – and what you can expect from your city.