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'Smart' toys under investigation by privacy groups

The perfectly innocent toys that we were playing with 20 or 30 years ago, are all but gone. Nowadays, most of them come with an app and connect to the Internet, so even though they can do a lot of interesting things, they can also represent a danger to your and your child's privacy. This is why privacy groups from the United States and the European Union are urging authorities to take a closer look into IoT-connected toys and how they transmit or store data.

From what I've read, at the moment, the groups are complaining about two specific toys: My Friend Cayla and I-Que Intelligence Robot and official papers about these products have been submitted in the U.S., France, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, Greece, Norway and Netherlands. According to the formal complaints, Genesis Toys (maker of the previously mentioned products) and Nuance Communications (developer of the voice recognition software used by the two toys) are guilty of multiple privacy violations including collecting and sharing audio files of children's voices without notifying or asking for the parents' consent. Furthermore, the lack of security measures allows unauthorized Bluetooth connections to steal data from the toys. The two companies are yet to make any official statement on the matter.

Since Christmas is coming and you may be looking for presents for your kids, you should check out some of our other stories like: "This 3D printer may be the best Christmas gift for your kids" or "Design Your Perfect Toy with Autodesk's Tinkerplay".

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