Consumers Union praises FTC action against toymaker VTech for violating child privacy law

Experts

Policy Counsel
Communications Director

Monday, January 8, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Trade Commission today announced that toy manufacturer VTech Electronics agreed to settle FTC charges that the company “violated a U.S. children’s privacy law by collecting personal information from children without providing direct notice and obtaining their parent’s consent, and failing to take reasonable steps to secure the data it collected.” The FTC said VTech will pay $650,000 as part of the settlement with the agency.

Katie McInnis, technology policy counsel for Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization division of Consumer Reports, said, “With connected products flooding the marketplace, it’s vital that companies pay attention to privacy and security.  This is especially true when products collect sensitive information from children.

“We applaud the FTC for taking this action.  We hope this is a sign that the FTC is going to be more vigilant in holding companies accountable for breaking privacy laws.  Parents have a right to know and a right to choose how their children’s personal data is being collected.”

Over the past year, Consumers Union has asked the FTC to investigate privacy and security concerns around toys such as My Friend Cayla, i-Que Intelligent Robot, and smartwatches by Caref and SeTracker.

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Contact: David Butler, dbutler@consumer.org, 202-462-6262

Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 60 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 7 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications. Its policy and mobilization division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.