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FBI issues warning on 'smart toys' over data collection, safety concerns

The FBI issued a warning about smart toys, citing data collection and safety concerns


Toys that connect to the internet could leave consumers open to hacking or having their conversations recorded and stored, according to a notice from the FBI.

The notice comes after concerns have been raised by consumer groups about internet-connected toys. Smart toys such as My Friend Cayla can record conversations and they can connect to the internet via bluetooth. That can allow the toys to be hacked if the connection is not secure. Cayla can record conversations which are stored by a third part. Germany recently banned the doll.

King Arthur's Court Toys in Oakley, Ohio, does not carry internet-connected toys, our affiliate WKRC reported.

"We are a little bit more old-fashioned about toys and prefer hands on items," said buyer Annie Laser.

Michael Gordon knows his son, Fritz, may eventually want one of the popular toys. But the concerns about privacy that come with them is something he's thought about.

"I think it's something as parents we need to think about a lot. If it's something we're willing to open up our home to," Gordon said.

Other toys ask for a child's personal information which can also be stolen. Some even ask for photos which is another concerned raised by the FBI.

"Obviously you can't live in fear, but you have to be smart enough to protect yourself as best you can," Gordon said.

The FBI recommends turning off toys that have microphones when a child is not using them. The FBI also recommends only connecting the toys to the internet using a secure connection.

To read the FBI's notice, click here.

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