A fascinating article in Motherboard sheds light on the dangers surrounding our connected devices—particularly intimate ones, like sex toys. Reporting from a panel at DEF CON, the writer highlights the work of two New Zealand hackers who are studying the ethical risks of the “Internet of dildos.”
What the hackers discovered is that many sex toys routinely collect data about the user’s temperature and the device’s intensity settings. The problem is that it is unclear exactly how companies are using this information. And in a nightmare scenario, if the dildo were to be hacked by a third party, it could essentially become a tool for sexual assault. The sale or possession of sex toys is a criminal offense in India, the Philippines, and Alabama, and a hack might expose a user in one of these places to being charged.
The hackers said they are launching a movement to call for more transparency about data collection in the intimate device industry.