Users of an internet-connected sex toy may have some unexpected and uninvited company in their bedroom, if recent reports from users that claim the device is making audio recordings of each session are to be believed.
According to a user on Reddit, the smart sex toy maker Lovense has been secretly creating audio files each time one of its remote control vibrators is used, and may have been retrieved by the company from the device.
The Reddit user, posting under the username tydoctor, told the r/sex subreddit on the site that they found an audio recording that lasted the duration of the last time the vibrator was used.
“I was going through my phone media to prepare it for a factory reset and came across a .3gp file named ‘tempSoundPlay.3gp’ in the folder for the [Lovense] App,” the user posted. “The file was a FULL audio recording [six] minutes long of the last time I had used the app to control my [significant other’s] remote control vibrator.”
A number of other users corroborated the occurrence, stating they found the same file name in the Lovense application. While some speculated it was the result of use of the app’s video chat feature, others said it appeared after using the “sound” feature, in which the vibrator reacts to sounds.
While the existence of the file containing potentially sensitive audio is bad enough—especially in an age where devices are hacked and data is stolen and leaked on the regular—some users were worried Lovense itself was retrieving the audio files from the app.
According to Lovense’s support page, the company said it “designed our system to record as little information about our users as possible. Absolutely no sensitive data (pictures, video, chat logs) pass through (or are held) on our servers.” The lack of mention of audio files only further stoked the concern of users.
Lovense also said that all data is encrypted and transferred solely between partners, so sensitive data should never touch the servers and shouldn’t be accessible to anyone else, even if the data is intercepted.
The paranoia driven by the situation is understandable—there are few situations that would be more devastating than learning a device has been spying on a person’s most intimate moments without their knowledge or consent.
Luckily for users of of the devices, Lovense claims there is nothing to worry about. In a response posted on Reddit and directed at concerned users, the company acknowledged that its Android app does create a temporary audio file, but said that it was the result of a bug and not an intentional feature.
“This cache file currently remains on you phone instead of deleting itself once your session is finished. Also, when the file is created it overwrites itself (no new files are created),” a spokesperson for the company wrote.
The company said it was able to confirm the bug on Android and was still investigating it on iOS. Lovense also released an update Friday that was intended to fix the issue by automatically deleting the sound file after each session.
For those concerned about the audio file, it can be found on Android devices by opening up Settings, going to Internal Storage, then opening “wear” folder and opening the “temp” folder. The file is labeled tempSoundPlay.3gp.