The Norwegian Consumer Council has looked at the terms and the technical features of selected connected toys. The findings show a serious lack of understanding of children’s rights to privacy and security.
Based on what was discovered, consumer organizations in Europe and the United States in cooperation file formal complaints to relevant authorities on what seems to be obvious breaches of several consumer laws.
– Children are especially vulnerable, and are entitled to products and services that safeguard their rights to security and privacy. As long as the manufacturers are not willing to take these issues seriously, Internet of things-technologies are not suited for toys, says Finn Myrstad, Head of section, digital services in the Norwegian Consumer Council.
– With internet-connected devices gaining ground, market supervision will become increasingly complex. The challenge to make sure EU consumers are properly protected is huge and co-operation between authorities and consumer organisations is key. The fact that business malpractices do not halt at the border is making this task even harder, says Monique Goyens, Director General of The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC).
The toys fail at several points
In their review of the toys, the Consumer Council has found several serious issues:
- Lack of security
- Illegal user terms
- Kids’ secrets are shared
- Kids are subject to hidden marketing
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