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Deadline looms for British claimants in vibrator data breach case

Posted on: 13th July 2017

British claimants looking to sue Canadian sex toy manufacturer, Standard Innovation, for collecting data about their use of the sex toy, We-Vibe, have just one week left to bring claims under the US compensation scheme, with a deadline of 20 July London law firm Hodge Jones & Allen warns.

In a settlement filed in March in a US federal court, the makers of We-Vibe agreed to pay $3.75 million to resolve privacy claims regarding “adult sensual lifestyle products” that transmitted customer data.

The We-Vibe toys are designed to be used by couples, allowing one partner to control the devices via Bluetooth and a smartphone app. However, hackers found that the company was using the app to harvest data about how customers used the vibrators. The apps collected information such as what intensity and temperature settings the owners used, as well as how often they used the toys.

After being approached by British users of the toy, Chun Wong, head of the dispute resolution team at Hodge Jones & Allen, says: “We’ve been approached by clients to investigate making a claim as part of the US settlement. In order to comply, claimants have until 20 July 2017 to bring their claim under the scheme but would be advised to do so as soon as possible to allow for a proper investigation of the facts.

However, Standard Innovation is yet to make any specific provision for UK claimants and so it’s unclear whether British users will be able to receive any compensation as part of the US settlement. The alternative would be to potentially launch a claim under privacy laws in the UK against the Canadian manufacturers.”

Anyone wishing to bring a potential claim needs to have proof they purchased and used the We-Vibe app, We-Connect, before 26 September 2016 and will need to have applied before the 20 July 2017 deadline for claims under the US scheme.

Under the US scheme claimants are entitled to $199 (approx. £110) for just buying the device (We-Vibe) and up to $10,000 (approx. £5,600) if the app (We-Connect) was used.

Chun’s blog on this story can be found here.

Ends

For further information, please contact Lizzie Hannaway on 020 3567 1208 or at lizzie.hannaway@blacklettercommunications.co.uk.

Notes for Editors

Hodge Jones and Allen

  • Hodge Jones and Allen is one of the UK’s most progressive law firms, renowned for doing things differently and fighting injustice. Its senior partner is Patrick Allen, recently awarded a lifetime achievement award by Solicitors Journal and managing partner, Vidisha Joshi (recent winner of an Asian Woman of Achievement Award).
  • For 40 years’ the firm has been at the centre of many of the UK’s landmark legal cases that have changed the lives and rights of many people.
  • The firm’s team of specialists have been operating across: Personal Injury, Medical Negligence, Industrial Disease, Civil Liberties, Criminal Defence, Court of Protection, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Family Law, Military Claims, Serious Fraud, Social Housing, Wills & Probate and Property Disputes.
  • In 2016, the firm launched Hearing their voices – a campaign to raise awareness and build conversations around the issues and the injustices we might all face.

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