‘Smart’ toys could be risk to children
Consumers: Which? says items could be used by strangers to talk to a child
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