FBI Warns Parents To Exercise Caution With High-Tech ‘Smart Toys’ « CBS New York

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Smart toys with high-tech components may look fun and educational, but they could put your privacy at risk.

Sales of a smart doll named Cayla were banned in Germany over worries it could be hacked.

As CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported, the Tatanos of North Bergen have never bought their 2-year-old boy any electronic, internet connected toy.

He’s way more into trucks and cars anyway.

“We’re very careful about what we purchase because you have to be these days,” Jennifer Tatano said.

The FBI wants all parents to use the same vigilance, issuing an alert that some so-called smart toys may be spying on your kids.

“Even though these toys may be a lot of fun, they may be educational, they may also have a dark side,” cyber security expert Alan Brill said.

The bulletin warns that toys with sensors, microphones, cameras, speech recognition, and GPS capabilities could put a child’s privacy and safety at risk.

Connected to your phone, computer or WiFi — personal information is then registered online.

Brill, with Kroll Cyber Security, pointed out that we don’t know who is on the other end, or how easily a hacker could get in.

“You don’t really know who’s watching, who’s listening, what’s happening to that data,” Brill said.

But, once you’ve registered, is it too late to go back?

“If it’s a reputable company they may let you delete the account. If it’s not, it’s out there,” Brill said.

He said parents need to research before buying or registering any smart toy, turn it off when you’re not using , and if it has a camera turn it to the wall.

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