Girl (7-9) using computer, close-up

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via BlackDoctor:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation released a 2017 public service announcement alerting consumers to the potential dangers of “smart toys,” basically any toy that can connect to the internet. This applies to a range of toys currently on the market that have everything from microphones to cameras to cloud storage of audio, video, and other data collected from users.

The FBI raises concerns about toys negatively impacting your children’s privacy and security.

The features and functions of different toys vary widely. In some cases, toys with microphones could record and collect conversations within earshot of the device. Information such as the child’s name, school, likes and dislikes, and activities may be disclosed through normal conversation with the toy or in the surrounding environment. The collection of a child’s personal information combined with a toy’s ability to connect to the Internet or other devices raises concerns for privacy and physical safety.

Just as an example, imagine a child telling an internet-connected stuffed toy: “And we’re leaving tomorrow for Disney World. No one will be here for a week. I hope you won’t be lonely.” If the parent has provided their address as part of the toy’s “activation” or the toy has GPS capability, potential bad guys know that your house will be empty – perhaps too tempting for robbers.

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