Feb 12, 2016

Cyber Security Experts Encourage Boycott of VTech

Parents have been advised by security experts to boycott, or at the very least be cautious of providing VTech toys for their children following criticism of the company's response to a cyber attack.

VTech Kids describes itself as an electronic learning toys company that makes electronic toys and educational material for children including tablets and micro-computers. They are an expanding company who have recently taken over a US rival by the name of Leapfrog to further expand their reach. The nature of the toys sold by VTech means that online accounts often have to be created to get the most from them.

Last year in a cyber attack more than 6.3 million children's accounts were accessed from its app store database, Learning Lodge. The information accessed included photographs of the children and access to their 'chat logs'. We covered the initial hacking story here.

In response to this cyber attack VTech has been criticised for changing its terms and conditions. The company has changed its terms and conditions to state that parents must assume responsibility for any further breaches of its databases. The company says that it has worked hard to enhance the security of its websites since the breach but says it cannot give a 100% guarantee the sites won't be hacked again, and that the changes to their terms and conditions simply recognises this fact.

However, security experts disagree. Ken Munro from Pen Test Partners told the BBC that the response of VTech was 'unbelievably arrogant and derogatory'. He further stated that if the company felt this was an adequate response to the attack then parents should boycott the company and take their money elsewhere.

In any event, it is questionable whether these terms would be enforceable in a consumer contract. If you have any queries or concerns on the issues raised in this article please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or by email to legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

in: Consumer Law, Contract, News

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