Just recently, the FBI released a warning to parents everywhere: reconsider giving your kids internet-connected toys. The idea of getting kids into technology is good, but there are devices specifically meant for that.
Internet connected toys . . . well, they are not as innocent as they seem.
“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.”
The last thing this world needs is an epidemic on child identity fraud. Unfortunately, the worst part is that child identity fraud is only one potential threat of thousands when it comes to internet connected toys.
For example, last February marked the ban of smart-doll My Friend Cayla in Germany thanks to authorities discovering a weakness in the toy. As it turned out, the doll could be hacked to record conversations conveyed over the Bluetooth feature.
In addition to this, February was also home to the massive Cloud Pet leak. The toys allowed owners to record cute messages via a recorder. Apparently, those messages were being stored in an online database.
To make matters worse, the database was extremely vulnerable, as over 2 million personal recordings were leaked online after the database was hacked into.
These two incidents are merely examples of the capabilities internet connected toys now possess. When put in the wrong hands, the dangers are not only virtual – they’re physical and they endanger children.