The team behind educational building toy Click-A-Brick is dismayed at the latest round of allegations surfacing against electronic toys that connect to the internet that say the toys might be spying on children and breaching privacy laws.
As has been reported on numerous news outlets, consumer watchdogs in both the United States and the European Union are filing complaints against various so-called smart toys because the groups believe the toys are collecting data on the children that play with them, breaching privacy and data protection laws.
Groups like the European Consumer Organisation BEUC and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in the United States have filed complaints with French authorities and other European authorities while the US groups have filed complaints with the US Federal Trade Commission.
“By purpose and design, these toys record and collect the private conversations of young children without any limitations on collection, use, or disclosure of this personal information,” EPIC and other US consumer watchdog groups like the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood said in their complaint. “The toys subject young children to ongoing surveillance and are deployed in homes across the United States without any meaningful data protection standards. They pose an imminent and immediate threat to the safety and security of children in the United States.”
The groups urge the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the collection, use and disclosure of the data collected by these toys and to stop the collection and dissemination of data through children’s toys.
The European based groups allege the toys breach the EU Unfair Contract Terms Directive and the EU Data Protection Directive and possibly the Toy Safety Directive.
Educational building toy company Click-A-Brick says it is disappointing to see companies that make internet connected toys not apparently doing enough to protect the privacy of the children that use them.
“Stories like this are a double-edged sword,” Click-A-Brick Co-Founder Jason Smith said. “On the one hand, it’s good to see consumer groups being diligent about these toys and the dangers they pose, but on the other hand it’s disappointing to see it happening at all. Kids being off limits for data collection like this should be a given, but unfortunately, companies seem to want to profit off the data they collect from kids. We, of course, encourage parents to consider educational toys that are not connected to the internet so they can avoid breaches of privacy altogether. As long as toys are connected to the internet, the danger is always there.”
For more information, please visit http://www.clickabricktoys.net/