Maybe Not So Private a Sex Life


The recent hacking breach at affair-enabler Ashley Madison certainly caused a few hearts to skip a beat … and not in a good way. But even if you’re not engaged in adultery, you may have secrets of a sexual kind that you would rather others not learn or maybe despite your top-of-the-line mobile phone you’re old-school and want to keep sex a private matter. Good luck with that.

From Smartphone apps that allow individuals to track their sexcapades to more benign fitness systems like Apple Health that could by implication log sexual activity through monitoring sleep patterns, heartrate and menstrual cycles, the amount of mobile sexual data is increasing. 

And of course if you don’t turn off that geolocation tracking then your visit to the local sex shop may end up posted on Facebook.

Maybe those nine old men and women of the U.S. Supreme Court may offer some hope for keeping sexual info private. A year ago, in Riley v. California the court ruled that the police must have a warrant in most circumstances to search the contents of a mobile phone. Although a criminal case, the Justices spent a long time describing just how much personal information is now stored on the devices. 

The majority didn’t spend time discussing sex info but did point to Justice Sonya Sotomayor’s concurring opinion in a 2012 police GPS-tracking case United States v. Jones in which she specifically noted that GPS data could reveal a wealth of data about “sexual associations.” 

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