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2017-12-21 20:53 by Karl Denninger
in Consumer , 306 references
[Comments enabled]  

So now we have a little doll.

Or a "Furby"

Or any one of a dozen other "connected" toys.

There's a problem with all of them -- actually, several problems.

Let me be clear: The manufacturers should be out of business and their executives in prison.

Now.

And if the government won't do it parents should hand-deliver those executives to prison for them.  Whether they want to go or not.

Why?

First, COPA.  It bars the collection of any uniquely-identifiable information from anyone under 13 without the explicit consent of a parent.  A toy marketed for children under 13 that has microphone or camera functionality is by definition a violation, since there is utterly no way for a parent to give consent as to what is sent and received when.

Like, for example, your six year old daughter naked in the bathroom with said toy.

Second, these things simply do not have either the budget or cost associated with them to provide anything approaching acceptable security even for adult use.  They typically connect using either Bluetooth or WiFi and while both can be reasonably secure it takes effort to make sure they are.  The effort isn't made because it costs a lot of money, and that's inconsistent with mass-market toys sold for kids and costing relatively small-dollar amounts.

COPA is a scam in the first place.  There's utterly no reason why anyone should be able to give affirmative consent prior to 18 since they're not adults in any other form.  If Face****er and Snap-pig had to wait until you were 18 to hook you there'd be no addicts -- just like tobacco companies went after kids for decades.  But leaving that aside marketing "connected" toys for kids not much older than toddlers is outrageous -- especially if those toys can and do transmit information from your home to outside locations for processing, storage, and (much worse) interaction with others.

What the actual **** folks?

Still can't find your pitchforks and torches eh?  Yeah, ok, that nice camera in the "toy" you bought your kid has a relatively real risk of being turned into a kiddie-porn production device -- starring your child.  Congratulations, "parents."

No, I'm not kidding, and you're flat-out nuts if you allow this crap into your home, say much less on a store shelf near you.

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