‘Smart’ toys could be risk to chil­dren

Con­sumers: Which? says items could be used by strangers to talk to a child

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY JOSIE CLARK

A num­ber of con­nected or “smart” toys ex­pected to be top sell­ers this Christ­mas have “con­cern­ing vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties” that could pose a risk to child safety, a con­sumer group has warned.

Which? said its test­ing found four toys – the Furby Con­nect, i-Que In­tel­li­gent Ro­bot, Toy-Fi Teddy, and Cloud Pets – could be used by a stranger to talk to a child.

The test­ing found that the Blue­tooth con­nec­tion in each of the toys had not been se­cured, mean­ing the hacker used for the in­ves­ti­ga­tion did not need a pass­word, PIN code or any other au­then­ti­ca­tion to achieve ac­cess.

In ad­di­tion, “very lit­tle tech­ni­cal know how” was needed to gain ac­cess to the toys to start shar­ing mes­sages with a child, the watch­dog said.

Which? has writ­ten to re­tail­ers call­ing on them to stop sell­ing toys with proven se­cu­rity is­sues fol­low­ing its snap­shot test in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Ger­man con­sumer group Stiftung War­entest and other se­cu­rity re­search ex­perts.

Vivid Imag­i­na­tions, which dis­trib­utes the i-Que ro­bot toy, told Which? that the toys fully com­ply with the Toy Safety Di­rec­tive and European stan­dards but it would pur­sue the mat­ter with the man­u­fac­turer.

Has­bro, which makes the Furby Con­nect said: “We feel con­fi­dent in the way we have de­signed both the toy and the app to de­liver a se­cure play ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Spi­ral Toys de­clined to com­ment to Which? in re­la­tion to Cloud Pets and the Toy-Fi Teddy.

“Very lit­tle tech­ni­cal know how was needed to gain ac­cess”

CHILD’S PLAY: Clock­wise from top left, Toy-Fi Teddy, i-Que In­tel­li­gent Ro­bot, Furby Con­nect, and Cloud Pets

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