Connected Toys May Spy on Your Kids

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08 / 12 / 2016

Connected Toys May Spy on Your Kids

A group of child advocacy has claimed that connected toys represent a potential threat for the kids.

The group has filed a complaint  with the heading “Internet-Connected Toys Are Spying on Kids, Threatening Their Privacy and Security” together with the Federal Trade Commission.

Both toys that are listed in the file, My Friend Cayla and I-Que Intelligent Robot, are made by the company Genesis Toys. As the reporter group claims, they don’t clearly understand what sort of data the developer collects. Besides, the developer doesn’t have any kind of agreement with parents.

Katie McInnis from one of the groups that made a complaint said: “As more toys are connected to the Internet, we have to ensure that children’s privacy and security are protected. When a toy collects personal information about a child, families have a right to know, and they need to have meaningful choices to decide how their kids’ data is used. We strongly urge the FTC to investigate these companies, stop the deceptive practices, and hold them accountable.”

Almost all modern toys are connected to the internet to make them as smart as possible. Actually, specific toys recognize the voice of the kidsб and then convert the words into text. Then the toys search for possible answers on websites including Wikipedia, and then respond to a child’s comment or question.

The toys are operated via Bluetooth from the smartphone. All information that a toy receives is sent to third-party servers that are owned by Nuance Communications company.

What happens with the data after it appears on Nuance Communications servers? It is the main question that pushed the groups to file the complaint, considering the fact that Cayla’s Privacy Policy doesn’t mention speech data, nor does it mention the third parties that collect the same data.