Advertisement

Lovense sex toy app recorded and stored nearby sounds

From BBC - November 13, 2017

A smart sex toy-maker has acknowledged that a bug with its app caused handsets to record and store sounds made while its vibrators were in use.

Lovense was alerted to the issue by a Reddit user who had discovered a lengthy recording on their phone.

The Hong Kong-based firm said that the audio file was not transmitted off the device and has now issued a fix.

But one expert said the case highlighted the risks of using internet-connected gadgets.

The matter gained attention after being reported by The Verge news site.

Audio-activated

Lovense's Remote app allows its sex toys to be controlled via Bluetooth. It uses a smartphone's microphones to listen to nearby sounds so that noises can be used as a trigger if desired.

What was not clear was that the audio was being stored - the company's privacy site states that it "designed our system to record as little information about our users as possible".

However, last Thursday one owner flagged the issue.

"I was going through my phone media to prepare it for a factory reset and came across a... file named "tempSoundPlay.3gp," wrote the user nicknamed tydoctor.

"The file was a full audio recording six minutes long of the last time I had used the app to control my... vibrator. (We used it at a bar while playing pool).

"At no time had I wanted the app to record entire sessions using the vibrator."

The company responded the next day describing the issue as being "a minor bug" that was limited to Android devices, and added that "no information or data is sent to our servers".

It subsequently reported that it had released an update that addressed the problem. Lovense explained that it still needed to make recordings to provide sound-activated vibrations, but the files would now be much shorter-lived.

Theft risk

Advertisement

Continue reading at BBC »