FBI issues privacy warning for your connected toys – CNET

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Is Spider-Man spinning a web of data about your child?

Sarah Tew/CNET

We need to be smarter about smart toys, the FBI warned in a consumer notice issued Tuesday. 

The growing number of sensors, microphones, cameras, speech recognition and GPS capabilities in modern toys provide a wealth of information about their human playmates. And that doesn’t even include potentially intrusive uses like cameras and mics that eavesdrop (and eyedrop?) when they’re not actively being used.

The memo lays out a list of steps to take before connecting — a long list that most people probably won’t follow, including researching a company’s stance on cybersecurity, reading privacy policies and researching where the data is stored.

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) compliance plan was updated in June to include protections from connected devices, so you’ve got some backup and a place to ask questions.

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