VTech Toys: Parents Urge Boycott After Hack Disclaimer

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Feb 12, 2016 06:01 AM EST

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: The VTech InnoTab 2 at the launch of Dream Toys 2012 at St Mary's Church on October 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images) (Photo : Getty Images)

Children's electronic toymaker VTech is under fire after changing its disclaimer following a system hack which affected more than six million accounts. VTech's new terms and conditions state that parents should be held accountable for any future breaches.

According to BCC, cyber security experts have urged parents to boycott or, at least, be cautious of VTech's electronic toys after the way the company handled the system hack November last year. The Hong Kong-based company which manufactures tablet devices marketed to children had the personal details of 6.3 million users hacked through the company's app, "Learning Lodge", according to the report.

Since then, VTech has quietly changed its terms and conditions in December last year to avoid the blame once it happens again. The company shifts the liability of any future breach directly to its users. BCC says that VTech stands by its new terms. The terms explicitly state that VTech will not be liable for damages of any kind should such incident arise.

Parents reportedly took to social media to complain about the updated terms and conditions. It was then that cyber security experts urged parents to boycott VTech toys. One of the cyber security experts who advised boycotting VTech products said that the company is unbelievably arrogant and derogatory considering their track record in data security.

However, the company defended its new rules.

A spokeswoman from VTech told BBC that the company has worked hard to enhance the security of its websites and services to protect customer information after the hack.

"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", the spokeswoman stated.

"Such limitations are commonplace on the web," the spokeswoman said to BBC.

Daily Mail reports that the major security breach caused the accounts of million users to be compromised. Thousands of photos of children were lost in the breach and details of more than 700,000 children were stolen at the same time. It also included adult user information like names, email addresses, passwords, security questions and answers for password retrieval, IP addresses, mailing addresses and download histories.

The hackers allegedly targeted the company's apps store database "Learning Lodge" where they were able to access information such as chat logs, audio files and stored pictures.

The cyber crime unit of South East Regional Organised Crime Unit had arrested a 21-year-old man last December. Reports said that the man was involved in hacking-related charges in Bracknell.

The Information Commissioner's Office is still investigating the breach last November, reports The Guardian.

Check out the video about VTech's security:


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