Fight against ‘Big Brother’ surveillance toys gets serious

Privacy organization calls for ‘smart’ regs for ‘smart’ playtime

Privacy organizations have been campaigning in the United States for several years for regulations to protect children from internet-connected “smart” toys such as dolls and games that enable the manufacturers to listen to their playtime.

Now the effort is going global.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center is urging the European Commission to ensure that children will not be exposed to surveillance while playing.

“Connected toys expose children to greater harms than the non-connected toys covered under the [Commission] Directive. The European Commission should revise the EU Toy Directive to regulate connected toys and establish mandatory safety standards to address the unique safety and security hazards they pose,” said the letter, signed by EPIC President Marc Rotenberg and others.

“There should be ‘smart’ regulations for ‘smart’ toys.”

WND reported advocacy by EPIC and others for regulations in the United States regarding toys with web-connected microphones.

The Federal Trade Commission has received complaints about toys such as “My Friend Cayla” and “I-Que Intelligent Robot.”

In 2017, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., told the FTC the regulations for toys and related products are not keeping pace with “consumer and technology trends.”


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