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Tag: Privacy

FBI issues urgent warning about ‘spy toys’ that could put ‘privacy and safety of children at risk’


Creepy playthings can record kids’ conversations, track their movements, reveal their location and even allow perverts to TALK to them directly
By Jasper Hamill
18th July 2017, 12:34 pm Updated: 18th July 2017, 3:13 pm

https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/4043182/fbi-issues-urgent-warning-over-spy-toys-which-put-privacy-and-safety-of-children-at-risk/
PARENTS have been urged to steer clear of “spy toys” designed to snoop on innocent kids’ lives in terrifying detail.
The FBI has issued an urgent notice concerning toys that are packed full of sensors, cameras and microphones to record a child’s words and GPS locators to track their whereabouts.

Creepy Spy toy

MATTEL
Mattel’s Aristotle is tipped to be the ‘Amazon Echo for kids’, but it sparked serious privacy concerns

Gensis Toys
The popular My Friend Cayla doll, which was accused of recording kids’ words
“Smart toys and entertainment devices for children are increasingly incorporating technologies that learn and tailor their behaviours based on user interactions,” it wrote in a statement.
“These features could put the privacy and safety of children at risk due to the large amount of personal information that may be unwittingly disclosed.”
Spy toys are now on sale across the world and last year parents were warned about a doll called My Friend Cayla which allegedly recorded kids’ conversations.
Parents were also concerned about a toy from Mattel called Aristotle which records words spoken by children and sends them back to the developers.
The FBI said toys fitted with microphones can “record and collect conversations within earshot of the device”, gathering information such as the child’s name, school, activities and “likes and dislikes”.
Other gadgets require kids to file a picture when starting a user account or hand over date of birth or address, which could be used in identity fraud.

Shocked grandparents claim an educational alphabet toy shouts out the F-word
But more worryingly, the toys can also reveal a child’s location and leave them open to “exploitation” by perverts.
Hackers could also crack into some gizmos and then talk to kids or spy on them without their parents’ knowledge.
The FBI had the following advice for parents: “Consumers should examine toy company user agreement disclosures and privacy practices, and should know where their family’s personal data is sent and stored, including if it’s sent to third-party services.
“Security safeguards for these toys can be overlooked in the rush to market them and to make them easy to use.
“Consumers should perform online research of these products for any known issues that have been identified by security researchers or in consumer reports.”


Toys are often fitted with microphones and other data gathering tools
There is currently a huge trend for fitting internet-connected gadgets with cameras and sensors.
Last year, one sex toy firm even released a “spy-brator” which let women film themselves during a moment of solo pleasure.
Tech security experts later claimed it’s possible to hack into the sex toy and peer through the camera fitted inside its tip.
Shocked grandparents recently claimed an educational alphabet toy bought for their 18-month-old granddaughter shouted out the F-word.

Facebook plan uncovered to SPY on users through their own smartphone cameras to analyze their facial expressions

Image: Facebook plan uncovered to SPY on users through their own smartphone cameras to analyze their facial expressions

(Natural News) The internet is buzzing with chatter about a new Facebook “feature” that allegedly peers into smartphone users’ eyes to detect their emotional states. The social media giant has reportedly filed a patent for the new technology which, should it be officially launched, would allow for more customized advertising tailored to people’s feelings.

It’s a downright creepy concept – that Facebook has the capacity to hijack smartphone cameras and literally watch users scroll through their news feeds – but one that people need to be aware of if they’re at all concerned about their personal privacy. Facebook’s facial analysis technology has been in secret development for years, and now that the cat is out of the bag many users are reconsidering their use of the platform altogether.

Imagery of what Facebook submitted to obtain a patent for the technology depicts users peering into their smartphones as the devices detect and analyze certain features like mouth shape and eye movement. From this, Facebook is able to gather data on how its users respond to videos, photos, news, and advertising.

Software company CBI Insights discovered the renderings back in 2015 and linked them to Mark Zuckerberg’s efforts to develop “emotion technology” for Facebook. The plan all along seems to have been to pick up on “emotion characteristics” via smartphone cameras and use this data to further hone Facebook’s monetization.

“Patent documents contain illustrations showing a person holding a smartphone with a camera taking a picture from which ’emotion characteristics’ like smiling or frowning are detected,” writes Margi Murphy for The Sun (U.K.).

“If the person appears to like what they’re seeing, Facebook could place more of the same type of content in front of them.”

Facebook to sense user emotions through touch habits on smartphone keypads

The secret development of this technology is only just now making headlines, which is why many people still don’t know it exists. But according to experts, they’re about it find out, and it could put off a great many of them from ever using the service again.

“On the one hand, they want to identify which content is most engaging and respond to audience’s reactions,” the company wrote in a blog post. “[O]n the other, emotion-detection is technically difficult, not to mention a PR and ethical minefield.”

And it’s just a patent, after all. Facebook may choose to never bring it to fruition, should it decide that doing so would damage the company’s user base. At the same time, based on the amount of effort being put into its development, it’s a safe bet that Facebook fully intends to make it a reality – the only question is when.

Another project that Facebook’s been working on involves tracking the way users touch their smartphone keypads to detect their emotional states. A patent granted on May 25 reveals that Facebook has the ability to sense how its users are feeling while writing text messages. Using this data, Facebook plans to automatically start inserting emojis and other indicators to provide proper context during a chat conversation.

“The system picks up data from the keyboard, mouse, touchpad, touchscreen to detect typing speed and how hard the keys are pressed,” explains Murphy. “Facebook will accordingly change the text font and size, before shaping to make it more emotive and relevant to your mood.”

If you recall, this is not the first time Facebook has been caught using some questionable technology. A few years back, Facebook was accused of breaking the law by tracking its users’ behaviors while browsing the internet. The Belgium-based Privacy Protection Commission (PPC) says Facebook routinely “tramples” on the law with its privacy invasion practices, which only continue to get worse with each passing year.

Sources:

TheSun.co.uk

NaturalNews.com