Watchdog Claims Toys are Tracking Your Kids

Used modern Electronic gadgets for daily use on White floor, Reuse and Recycle concept, Top view.

( – According to a The Western Journal December 25 report, the United States Public Interest Research Group Education Fund revealed that some smart toys are currently tracking kids all across the country. In its article, the watchdog group said the threat could become difficult to control not only because many of these toys are quite popular among kids but also because they are equipped with artificial intelligence.

While the article pointed out different playthings and their “dangerous” spy-like technology, it also gave some advice about what to do about them. The watchdog group explained that one of the main issues parents are facing today is that even the “simpler” games and toys are loaded with data-gathering AI. It also noted that many of the toys have GPS tracking, cameras, and microphones for vocal and facial recognition. The watchdog group said that even when these new elements could enhance the kid’s experience with the toy, it’s also “concerning” because these toys can recollect data not only from their clients but also from their surroundings.

The Public Interest Research Group Education Fund mentioned that even play doctor’s kits and miniature soccer balls come with different apps that can connect to Bluetooth or the internet. It also explained the case of the Smart Toy Bear from Fisher Price, which could talk and even record conversations, but was discontinued in 2019 because authorities found criminals could easily hack it.

During an interview with the watchdog group, New York Medical College’s development pediatrician Dr. Mark Bertin said that, before buying toys, parents should determine if these can connect to the internet as a basic precaution. He also explained that, instead of not buying toys that have cameras and microphones, parents should know how these are used and when they will start recording. Bertin added that one of the best steps parents can take before buying a toy is to look at its specific privacy policy and to research the toy company to see if it has a history of privacy concerns.

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