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Sex toy company loses $2.97 million for tracking users’ sexual activity without their knowledge

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Users of We-Vibe sex toys were being tracked and they didn’t even know it. The company, Standard Innovation, was charting users’ frequency of use, level of intensity and body temperature, but it wasn’t the “smart” vibrator buyers intended. A settled lawsuit has awarded owners up to $10,000 each, after lawyer’s fees.

The smart vibrator boasted bringing long-distance couples together by using a bluetooth vibrator that links lovers via smartphone app. It turns out that smartphone was doing more than connecting couples, The Guardian reports. Security and privacy vulnerabilities tipped off some who ultimately discovered the vibrator allowed anyone with their bluetooth open to control the device while the company obtained info on the sexual habits of the user.

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During the 2016 Def Con hacking conference, two hackers caused fireworks of their own by exposing the vulnerabilities of the program. “Goldfish” and “follower” explained that the problem was serious, with “unwanted activation of a vibrator is potentially sexual assault,” follower explained.

Standard Innovation announced that they take their customers’ privacy and data seriously and have taken action.

“We have enhanced our privacy notice, increased app security, provided customers [with] more choice in the data they share, and we continue to work with leading privacy and security experts to enhance the app,” the company said in a statement. “With this settlement, Standard Innovation can continue to focus on making new, innovative products for our customers.”


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Columnist drops the hammer on ‘Stalinist’ GOP for running a bogus ‘show trial’ to exonerate Trump

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In a brutal column for the Daily Beast, longtime political observer Michael Tomasky went all-in on an attack on Republican senators for turning the impeachment trial of Donald Trump into a "Stalinist show trial" where the outcome is known before it even starts.

Reflecting on the impassioned case laid out by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) over the past three days, Tomasky wondered what it would take to get through to Republicans who seem uninterested in fulfilling their constitutional duties.

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‘Take her out!’ Leaked audio purportedly catches Trump demanding firing of Marie Yovanovitch

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An audio recording that has been reviewed by ABC News purportedly catches President Donald Trump demanding the firing of former American ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

According to ABC News, the recording was made in April 2018, which was more than a year before Yovanovitch was finally ousted from her position. Additionally, ABC News reports that the recording was made by Igor Fruman, the now-indicted henchman of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who captured the president's voice during a private dinner where he also met with Fruman's co-conspirator, Lev Parnas.

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Trump may win his impeachment trial battle and end up in even bigger trouble afterward: columnist

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In a column for Politico, senior media editor Jack Shafer claimed that President Donald Trump appears to be winning his Senate impeachment trial battle but that he is setting himself to lose the war in the long run.

According to the columnist, the president is likely responsible for directly coming up with his impeachment defense but also notes that he hasn't looked past the trial and what awaits him if he gets his wish and Senate Republicans dismiss the charges against him.

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