Security Expert Warns Parents Against VTech Toys
Parents have been advised to boycott the well-known children's technology brand VTech after the company apparently updated their terms to absolve themselves of blame should the toys be hacked.
In an update to the Hong Kong-based company's terms and conditions made on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2015, VTech asks users to "acknowledge and agree that any information you send or receive during your use of the site may not be secure and may be intercepted or later acquired by unauthorised parties."
Bit late for that with Santa on the way, right?
The changes to the T&Cs follow last year's revelations that a hacker had compromised the information of 6.4 million children with Vtech devices by remotely accessing accounts that showed the names, addresses and personal details of their parents as well as photographs taken by the children.
After receiving a tip-off from concerned Twitter user Robin Bradshaw, Australian software and technology specialist Troy Hunt explained the vulnerabilities on his self-titled blog, appealing to VTech to make the dangers clearer to their customers:
"People don't even read these things!" he wrote.
"If [VTech] honestly feel they're not up to the task of protecting personal information, then perhaps put that on the box and allow consumers to consciously take their chances rather than implicitly opting into the 'zero accountability' clause."
VTech is standing by the new terms. A spokeswoman told BBC News:
"Since learning about the hack of its databases, VTech has worked hard to enhance the security of its websites and services and to safeguard customer information,"
"But no company that operates online can provide a 100% guarantee that it won't be hacked.
"The Learning Lodge terms and conditions, like the T&Cs for many online sites and services, simply recognise that fact by limiting the company's liability for the acts of third parties such as hackers.
"Such limitations are commonplace on the web."
Will you be boycotting VTech toys until they take responsibility for protecting your information? Let us know on Twitter @HerFamilydotie.