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What to ask before buying internet-connected toys

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What’s on your holiday wish list? Perhaps a smart speaker for your kids’ bedroom, or a cuddly cool internet-connected smart toy to help them learn? Before you give one of these connected toys, read this handy list of questions. They can help you know what to look out for with an internet-connected smart toy, and how to protect your kids’ data.

Understand the smart toy’s features:

  • Does the toy come with a camera or microphone? What will it be recording, and will you know when the camera or microphone is on?
  • Does the toy let your child send emails or connect to social media accounts?
  • Can parents control the toy and be involved in its setup and management? What controls and options does it have? What are the default settings?

Understand what information the smart toy collects, and how it will be used:

  • When your child plays with the toy, what kind of information does it collect?
  • Where is this data (including pictures and recordings) stored, how is it shared, and who has access to it? Does the toy company give parents a way to see and delete the data? Is the information secure?
  • If the toy collects personal information from your child who’s under 13 years old, the toy company has to tell you about its privacy practices, ask for your consent, protect and secure collected data, and give you the right to have your child’s personal information deleted.

For more information, check out our Protecting Kids Online page.


Good to know!

Excellent advice to parents that have young children that want these kinds of toys. Thanking you again for your valuable information. I love getting your messages.

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Thanks for the tips! I'll be sure to share this with my family this holiday season.

Both adults and children should know all these things for every device, not just with toys for kids.

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