As IoT (Internet of Things) devices continue to seep into our homes and offer an increasingly wide range of features, new concerns are beginning to arise about the security of the data processed by these devices. Though they have been subject to countless security breaches leading to the exposure of people’s login details, financial information, and geographical location, among others, there are few kinds of data with more potential to harm users, if published, than those relating to their sexual behavior.
With new models of smart toys for adults entering the market all the time, we might imagine that progress is being made in strengthening the mechanisms to ensure good practices in the processing of user information. However, our research shows that we are a long way from being able to live out our sexuality through digital media without exposing ourselves to the risk of cyberattack. Today, these findings are more relevant than ever, since we are seeing a rapid rise in sex toy sales as a reflection of the current health situation around the world and the social distancing measures related to COVID-19.
Though many experts have devoted time to identifying and reporting security flaws within this industry, with every passing year these devices incorporate an ever wider range of features: Group chats, multimedia messages, videoconferencing, synchronization with lists of songs or audio books, and much more. Each time their code is re-engineered, some vulnerabilities are corrected, new vulnerabilities may be created, and many more remain unchanged in the updated versions.
So, how secure are adult toys right now? Have the necessary precautions been taken to protect people’s data and privacy? These are some of the concerns we address in the course of this whitepaper. We will analyze the increasingly important role played by these types of devices and the vulnerabilities in some of them, placing an emphasis on the importance of demanding—as informed consumers—that best practices and standards are applied to these products in order to ensure that our data is secure and we are unharmed.