Is “Screwdriving” A Concern with New Bluetooth-Enabled Devices?

A cell phone controls a remote control sex toy

“As the world hurtles toward total app-connectivity, the gap between what our devices could do and what the law can address widens, particularly with teledildonics—or, sex tech that you can control remotely, over the internet,” says Gizmodo. In an interview with Gizmodo, Alex Lomas, a “penetration tester” (that’s really his job description!) with British cybersecurity firm Pen Test Partners explains:

If you are wearing the butt plug out in public, and a designated partner is standing within about 30 feet of your tuchus, then that partner can control its vibration speed and pattern discreetly from their phone. Which is all well and good … unless that person wanders out of (admittedly limited) connectivity range. In that case, [it] “will sort of fail open into a discovery mode, ready for other people to discover and then take control,” to pair with the plug—there’s no password protection, or the PIN is an easily guessed 0000 or 1234—and pilot your anal experience, uninvited. 

While one has to be within 30 feet of most remotely-controlled devices of this sort to have an effect, it does bring up the possibility of nonconsensual activity. Of additional concern is whether adult companies such as Lovense and WeVibe, for example, are unsafely storing intimate user data they’ve been collecting as part of the services they offer. Gizmodo asks, If Your Vibrator is Hacked, Is It a Sex Crime?

Stephanie

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