The Latest Danger in Kids Toys--Data Mining of Small Children

The Texas Public Interest Research Group says just because its on the shelves at the toy department, that doesn't mean its safe, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

In its annual 'Trouble n Toyland' report, TxPIRG's Bay Scoggin says the scariest thing out there is the growing number of toys which contain 'Alexa type' microphones so they can interact with kids.

"Unfortunately, one of the unfortunate things that's happening, is these blue-tooth speakers are listening to the chlldren, and gathering data on them," he said.

He says, unfortunately, this is not illegal.

"Worse, there are cases where this data has been sold off to third party retailers."

Other unsafe toys that are out there include fun green 'slime' which contains up to 15 times the European Union's recommended limit for exposure to a chemical called boron, which leads to nausea, vomiting, and reproductive health issues.

There is the usual problem of toys being marketed to children who are still in the 'stick stuff in their mouth' age group which have easily detatchable small parts that can lead to choking.

Balloons being marketed to small kids remain a problem, with balloons the number one cause of choking on non food items.

TxPIRG also warned of toys with sound, like 'ray guns' which blast the sound at so loud a level that it can damage the hearing of a child.

TxPIRG also warns that toys that contain small magnets can cause a real problem if the small magnets are swallowed and they become stuck together in the child's body

.But the newest problem, Scoggin says, is the same sort of data mining that adults are used to every day, going on behind the scenes in kids interactive toys.


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