Advertisement

Toys That Talk to Strangers: A Look at the Privacy Policies of Connected Toys

  • Wahida ChowdhuryEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 880)

Abstract

Toys that are connected to the Internet are able to record data from users and share the data with company databases. The security and privacy of user data thus depend on companies’ privacy policies. Though there is a rising concern about the privacy of children and parents who use these connected toys, there is a scarcity of research on how toy companies are responding to the concern. We analyzed privacy policies of 15 toy companies to investigate the ways toy companies publicly document digital standards of their connected products. Our results show that most toy companies are either unclear or do not mention in their privacy policy documents how their toys protect the security and privacy of users. We recommend measures that toy companies may adopt to explicitly respond to security and privacy concerns so parents can make informed decisions before purchasing the connected toys for their children.

Keywords

Connected toys Smart toys Internet of Things  Information privacy Data security Privacy policies Digital standards  Children Parents 

Notes

Acknowledgment

The author wishes to thank Diana Cave (Criminology Department, University of Ottawa) for assisting in conducting the research, and professor Valerie Steeves (Criminology Department, University of Ottawa) for her valuable comments on previous drafts of this article.

References

  1. 1.
    Miorandi, D., Sicari, S., De Pellegrini, F., Chlamtac, I.: Internet of Things: vision, applications and research challenges. Ad Hoc Netw. 10(7), 1497–1516 (2012).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adhoc.2012.02.016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Holloway, D., Green, L.: The internet of toys. Commun. Res. Pract. 2(4), 506–519 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Mascheroni, G., Holloway, D. (eds.): The Internet of Toys: A Report on Media and Social Discourses Around Young Children and IoToys. DigiLitEY, London (2017)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dobbins, D.L.: Analysis of security concerns and privacy risks of children’s smart toys. Ph.D. Dissertation. Washington University St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, USA (2015)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Steeves, V., Jones, O.: Surveillance, children and childhood (Editorial). Surveill. Soc. 7(3/4), 187–191 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Nelson, B.: Children’s Connected Toys: Data Security and Privacy Concerns. United States Congress Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, 14 December 2016. https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=797394. Accessed 4 July 2017

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of OttawaOttawaCanada

Personalised recommendations