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  • Internet-Connected Toys Could Present Privacy and Contact Concerns for Children

    Home Forums AskWoody support Connected home / Internet of things Questions: Other home/IoT products Internet-Connected Toys Could Present Privacy and Contact Concerns for Children

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    This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  MrJimPhelps 2 years, 3 months ago.

    • Author
    • #125321 Reply

      Da Boss

      FBI Public Service Announcement: Alert Number I-071717-PSA
      July 17, 2017

      Consumer Notice: Internet-Connected Toys Could Present Privacy and Contact Concerns for Children

      The FBI encourages consumers to consider cyber security prior to introducing smart, interactive, internet-connected toys into their homes or trusted environments. Smart toys and entertainment devices for children are increasingly incorporating technologies that learn and tailor their behaviors based on user interactions. These toys typically contain sensors, microphones, cameras, data storage components, and other multimedia capabilities – including speech recognition and GPS options. These features could put the privacy and safety of children at risk due to the large amount of personal information that may be unwittingly disclosed.

      What Should I Do?

      The FBI encourages consumers to consider the following recommendations, at a minimum, prior to using Internet-connected toys.

      • Research for any known reported security issues online to include, but not limited to:
        Only connect and use toys in environments with trusted and secured Wi-Fi Internet access
        Research the toy’s Internet and device connection security measures
        Use authentication when pairing the device with Bluetooth (via PIN code or password)
        Use encryption when transmitting data from the toy to the Wi-Fi access point and to the server or cloud
        Research if your toys can receive firmware and/or software updates and security patches
        If they can, ensure your toys are running on the most updated versions and any available patches are implemented
        Research where user data is stored – with the company, third party services, or both – and whether any publicly available reporting exists on their reputation and posture for cyber security
      • Carefully read disclosures and privacy policies (from company and any third parties) and consider the following:
        If the company is victimized by a cyber-attack and your data may have been exposed, will the company notify you?
        If vulnerabilities to the toy are discovered, will the company notify you?
        Where is your data being stored?
        Who has access to your data?
        If changes are made to the disclosure and privacy policies, will the company notify you?
        Is the company contact information openly available in case you have questions or concerns?

      Closely monitor children’s activity with the toys (such as conversations and voice recordings) through the toy’s partner parent application, if such features are available
      Ensure the toy is turned off, particularly those with microphones and cameras, when not in use
      Use strong and unique login passwords when creating user accounts (e.g., lower and upper case letters, numbers, and special characters)
      Provide only what is minimally required when inputting information for user accounts (e.g., some services offer additional features if birthdays or information on a child’s preferences are provided)

      If you suspect your child’s toy may have been compromised, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, at
      Read the full alert here

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #125393 Reply


      They forgot to include the phrases ‘smart cell phones’, ‘applications and application permissions’ in this warning.

    • #125569 Reply


      Parents should NEVER purchase “smart” toys for their children, nor let their children have these toys. The risks are simply too great.

      What do your children gain from “smart” toys? They further bury themselves in an electronic “smart” world, and as a result have less and less interaction with the real world around them. Children need to have a normal, healthy childhood, in which they interact with real people, and in which the parents can adequately monitor what is going on. (This is increasingly difficult, if not impossible, if your child has “smart” toys.)

      Imagine that your little girl has a “smart” doll. You’re all in the car, going on a trip somewhere. You will be driving for several hours, and so she wants to connect her “smart” doll to your iPhone’s wifi, because she is “bored”. So you connect the doll. Then, unknown to you, someone at the doll company, or perhaps a hacker, begins to listen in on everything that is said in the car and whatever is playing on the radio.

      Why not give her a non-“smart” doll? Or even a book to read? Or perhaps you could all play a game while driving.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      1 user thanked author for this post.

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