Warning: toys I-Que and MyFriend Cayla

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

lenarenee

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
3,704
Reaction score
3,317
Just like the Barbie of last year, there are more internet connected toys with huge privacy and security issues being sold for children.


You can get more detailed information from: Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood (CCFC) http://commercialfreechildhood.org/


A copy of the letter I received with shorst video explanation below:

Dear Friend,

Yesterday, CCFC was part of an unprecedented, coordinated global action to stop Internet-connected toys from spying on children.*

In the US, we joined the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), Consumers Union, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in filing a Federal Trade Commission complaint against the makers of My Friend Cayla and I-Que, two toys with serious privacy and security violations. At the same time, our colleagues in Europe filed similar complaints with the EU and seven member states.

My Friend Cayla and I-Que collect voice recordings of children without obtaining parental consent, a clear violation of children’s privacy law. The recordings, which may contain sensitive and personal information, are then shared with unnamed third parties. One such party is Nuance Communications, a defense contractor whose privacy policy allows any data shared with them to be used for their other products and services—including biometric databases built for law enforcement agencies.*

In addition, My Friend Cayla has been pre-programmed with product placement for Disney films and merchandise. And both toys are easily hacked, allowing strangers to make the toys talk or eavesdrop on children’s conversations.

As a result of our coalition’s work, the toys are already being recalled in the Netherlands and Belgium. And here in the US, our efforts have received extensive media coverage, including the Wall Street Journal and the front page of the Boston Globe.

Now we need your help to spread the word. Consumerist has a detailed write-up of our FTC complaint, and our friends in Norway have made a great short video illustrating the toys’ privacy and security flaws:


Internet-connected toys put children's privacy at risk. Don't buy them for your (or any) kids: https://consumerist.com/2016/12/06/...-send-what-they-hear-to-a-defense-contractor/ #Toyfail

Why you should avoid Internet-connected toys, in less than 90 seconds: [ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAOj0H5c6Yc[/ame] #Toyfail
Or, share the video or Consumerist post on Facebook. And please forward this email to a friend.*

Thank you for your help protecting kids.*

Sincerely,
Jenny Gamson
Development and Communications Director, CCFC
 
Last edited:

Omneya

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
Messages
89
Reaction score
105
Screw that! I would be afraid of optics and that pervs could watch the child. And i live about 20 min away from Burligton MA :(
 

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,713
Reaction score
9,214
Location
Texas
I'm so glad my children are grown!

I was worried about the "smart" TVs, refrigerators, and the proliferation of "personal shopper" devices available now, it would never occur to me to be worried about the toys.
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,469
Reaction score
19,378
Location
USA
Here's an article on CBS news: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/your-kids-toys-could-be-spying-on-your-family/

An excerpt:

"...[The doll My Friend] Cayla also prompts children to disclose personal information, the complaint alleges. The doll asks kids to finish answering questions about their family members’ names, where they attend school and where they live.

That seems fairly straightforward for a doll that’s geared to responding personally to kids, but more troubling may be what happens next. The recordings are allegedly sent to Nuance Communications, a speech-to-text company that sells voice biometric services to military, intelligence and law enforcement agencies....

Cayla’s privacy policy doesn’t mention speech data, nor does it describe the collection or use of data by Genesis, Nuance or other third parties, the complaint notes. The toys are allegedly in violation of a federal law that sets limits on the collection of data from children under the age of 13.

The toys are also potentially hackable because any smartphone or tablet with 50 feet can connect via Bluetooth, with no authentication code needed, the complaint asserts.

It continued, “Researchers discovered that by connecting one phone to the doll through the insecure Bluetooth connection and calling that phone with a second phone, they were able to both converse with and covertly listen to conversations collected through the My Friend Cayla and i-Que toys.”..."

Emphasis is mine.
 

lenarenee

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
3,704
Reaction score
3,317
And if companies want that kind of info in order to market to children....imagine what happens to adult information??
 
Last edited:

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,713
Reaction score
9,214
Location
Texas
Why, oh why are there no angry emojis on this forum?
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,469
Reaction score
19,378
Location
USA
"...imagine what happens to adult information?? ..."

I was thinking the same thing as you, Lenarenee.

We went to dinner with friends last night and heard all about the Alexa system that they gave their son and DIL for Christmas -- how it sits in the living room, listens to everything going on, and answers questions if its name is said. Kinda neat on one hand. Kinda scary on another.

Even if not used for eavesdropping and the like, I am pretty sure this kind of "instant answer" technology will create an environment where we don't have to think critically about problems and questions. Just ask a question, get an answer, accept the info as gospel truth, and move on. As a former college instructor, I wanted to teach people to THINK, not just regurgitate answers that "everybody knows" but no one really understands. Developing the ability to think critically is a hallmark of wisdom.
 

Steve85569

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2015
Messages
1,914
Reaction score
2,113
Location
North East Oregon, USA
This is sick in so many ways it simply defies making comment in public. ( turret's outburst).
WHY is this "stuff" being allowed to be marketed?!?
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,469
Reaction score
19,378
Location
USA
I'm sure similar things have been said about many advances in technology over the centuries. For example, I remember reading an essay from the early 1900s justifying continuing to farm with horses vs. switching to those new-fangled tractors. Some of the dire predictions do come true, but thankfully many do not.

Getting back to the original topic, I think the interesting thing (and not in a good way) is that the CNN article notes that some of the responses appear to be marketing related (Disney), so even if nothing Big Brother-ish-ly nefarious ever happens with this info, the Cayla doll is set up to be a marketing tool. Ugh.
 

lenarenee

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
3,704
Reaction score
3,317
It probably isn't nefarious, but there is certainly the possibility of it turning that way - and no one will know until it's too late.

Last year the concern was with Hello Barbie, and one point given was that what if a child "confided" with Barbie that she was being abused, or her parent did drugs or other things.

It's a full time job trying to keep track of my Windows 10 computer's security stuff, my phone, online banking and all of the privacy that's given up with those tools. I have nothing to hide, but what if info gets confused, misinterpreted, or crossed with someone else's....? Will it be as difficult to correct as identity theft, etc?

Now - its spreading to children, and unless the adults are very aware they will be the most vulnerable.
 

IrishLass

Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
17,284
Reaction score
11,090
Location
Right here, silly!
I'm so glad our son was able to squeak through to adulthood pretty much unscathed from such marketing ploys, and I'm forever thankful that he came along when he did, i.e., when cellphones were barely in their infancy and still on the expensive side, the internet was new and much of a novelty for home-use, and FB, Twitter, etc... did not exist.

It wasn't difficult for us as parents at all to be able to guide him in positive uses of such technologies when we were able to afford buying them. Everything was so new that he was naturally shielded from so much of the negative cyber social (or rather anti-social) insanity that that seems to have become the 'new normal' of today.

Although many of our technological advances over the years have been time-saving, money-saving and life-saving in nature, it's just plain sick and wrong how some toy companies seem to be taking advantage of the lightening-fast growing technologies of today and reeling kids in to them without thinking that there might be any downsides, or for whatever reason outright denying that there are any downsides even when they are staring at them right in the face.

Of course, parents have the biggest responsibility as being the gatekeepers of their children, but it's sure becoming harder and harder than ever to be a parent of young children these days unless you are able to make some lifestyle changes that go against the 'flow'.

Although I'm sure that every generation down through the years has said the same thing^^^^, I think it's an even more serious situation today because of how fast everything seems to moving/changing. There just doesn't seem to be enough time anymore where things can be checked out/thought about/tested before the next newest thing comes along. The pace is becoming ridiculous!

Why, oh why are there no angry emojis on this forum?
Well, we do have these 2 on forum: :twisted: :evil:

Were you looking for one more intense- something along the lines of this perhaps?:




IrishLass :)
 
Top