The FBI has warned parents that manufacturers of smart toys could be using them to spy on children without permission.
According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, children’s toys that are connected to the internet are capable of secretly filming video, recording audio, and recognising speech – all of which could be monitored by unknown persons working for the toy manufacturer.
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“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,” wrote the FBI.
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News.com.au reports: the Federal Bureau of Investigation says such toys could contain parts or capabilities such as microphones, cameras, GPS, data storage and speech recognition that could disclose personal information.
Normal conversation with a toy or in the surrounding environment could disclose a child’s name, school, likes and dislikes and activities, the FBI said.
Smart toys and entertainment devices are gaining popularity for incorporating technologies that learn and tailor their behaviours based on user interactions.
In February, Germany banned sales and ownership of a talking doll named Cayla made by US company Genesis Toys, citing the risk of hacking associated with the toy.
The country’s Federal Network Agency recommended that parents who had bought the doll for their children destroy it.