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Privacy Advocates Raise Concerns About Mattel’s Always-On ‘Aristotle’ Baby Monitor

Anyone who has watched a young child become fascinated with virtual “assistants” like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, or Google Home could guess that it was only a matter of time until one of these “smart” devices would be created specifically for monitoring kids. With Mattel set to release an all-in-one assistant/monitor, consumer advocates are questioning how secure, beneficial, or harmful these devices actually are. [More]

CloudPets “Smart” Toys Leak More Than 2M Voice Recordings, Other Personal Data

CloudPets “Smart” Toys Leak More Than 2M Voice Recordings, Other Personal Data

CloudPets are not cute little adoptable cumulonimbus and cirrus toys for your kid to play with. Instead, they are traditional dog, cat, and bear stuffed animals that relay voice messages between an adult and a kid through the digital cloud. Which in and of itself is not necessarily a bad idea, even if it’s not your style. What is a bad idea, however, is failing to secure your server, and making more than 2 million of those very personal messages public, for anyone on the internet to grab. [More]

These Toys Don’t Just Listen To Your Kid; They Send What They Hear To A Defense Contractor

These Toys Don’t Just Listen To Your Kid; They Send What They Hear To A Defense Contractor

Kids say a lot of random, unsolicited, or just plain personal things to their toys while playing. When that toy is stuffed with just fluff and beans, it doesn’t matter what the kid says: their toy is a safe sounding board. When their playtime companion is an internet-connected recording device that ships off audio files to a remote server without even notifying parents — that’s a whole other kind of problem. [More]