December 14th, 2015

When Toys Are Hackable And Our Children Become Data Breach Victims

By Kalev Leetaru

As the holiday season enters full swing, one of the hottest toy trends this year is the Internet-connected intelligent toy. Yet, as with everything relating to the Internet of Things, such toys bring with them myriad new security risks that have yet to be fully contemplated and understood. From identity theft to inadvertent spying, toys are the latest frontier in the cybersecurity battle.

Children are also likely to be extremely open with their toys, telling them secrets about themselves or their parents that they would not share with anyone else. When these secrets are stored in third party commercial web servers it places them at risk. The risk of identity theft is particularly acute for children given that it is unlikely that such theft would be discovered until the child becomes a teenager and applies for a driver’s license or first savings account, giving thieves ample time to exploit stolen data.

As these toys become mainstream and manufacturers begin to address these issues, look for a world in which we are connected to the internet from birth.

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