When the teddy bear is watching: Smart toys and their pitfalls


A talking doll can be coveted gifts for children. But such high-tech toys can come with significant privacy issues. — dpa

Although smart toys may be high up on a child’s list, parents should think twice before bringing them into the home.

Especially toys that record video and sound could potentially violate privacy rules, the German Federal Network Agency warns.

It’s worth checking if the toy’s camera and microphone can be accessed remotely by third parties, the agency says.

Take the time to verify how talking dolls or stuffed animals logged into your WiFi actually work – or instance, by checking usage instructions and data privacy disclaimers.

Toys that reply to kid’s questions without using the Internet or sending data back to manufacturers are unproblematic.

There are also smart objects for adults for sale online, like watches, that secretly record audio or video footage.

Features like “voice monitoring” or “one-way conversation” should ring alarm bells, as that could mean the camera or microphone is being accessed remotely without you realising it.

The same is true for tracking via satellite (GPS) or mobile network technologies.

These features are often installed in cars to determine your vehicle’s position in case of theft, or built into pet collars to find runaway animals.

But if they can be activated remotely via text or app, they are questionable. – dpa

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

smart toys

   

Next In Tech News

Nvidia expects first-quarter sales to exceed $5.3 billion
Intel in talks to produce chips for automakers within six to nine months -CEO
Exclusive: GameStop initiates search for new CEO - sources
Nvidia, Volvo Cars accelerate auto industry's data-processing power race
Nvidia to directly challenge Intel with Arm-based 'Grace' server chip
Tesla rallies after Canaccord upgrades rating, says it is like Apple
HSBC bans customers from buying bitcoin-backer MicroStrategy shares
Uber, PayPal, Walgreens launch $11 million vaccine rides fund
Samsung SDI to supply battery cells to EV startup Rivian
Once 'green' plug-in hybrid cars suddenly look like dinosaurs in Europe

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers