Directors Points of Interest
FROM THE DIRECTOR
December 10, 2018 - Beware of Smart Toys
As the holiday season unfolds and you are shopping for gifts for young children, heed these warnings. In this past weekends Philadelphia Inquirer, staff writer Christian Hetrick ,has written an insightful article titled "Toys too smart for our own good". The column points out serious flaws in "smart toys" that are internet connected and are sometimes equipped with microphones, cameras and the ability to collect reams of data about children. "Internet to Things" "technology that has wireless connected coffeemakers, thermostats, and yes, toilets". The writer states that "smart toys have proven to be particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks". The article goes onto quote a Consumer Reports cybersecurity editor stating "Toys are basically the poster child for bad security in Internet of Things (IoT).
Last year German officials labeled an innocent-looking smart doll, My Friend Cayla, an illegal "espionage device" and asked parents to disable it. The blond, childlike doll recorded conversations, translated them to text, and shared data with third parties, according to a complaint filed in 2016.
The bottom line here is that parents and gift givers need to be extra careful when purchasing and using these types of devices that can use technology to learn and person's birthdate, find out where they live, and worse of all, collect information about your child and even record their voice. I suggest you find this article by Christian Hetrick, or make sure you are aware of the risks when using these devices.
December 4, 2018
Please be advised that effective this date, although they are still a division of Consumer Protection, the Gloucester County Office of Weights and Measures has moved to 1200 North Delsea Drive, Clayton, NJ 08312, which is a county complex. Most of you may know it as where the County Animal Shelter is located. The phone number is 856-307-6611 and is managed by Superintendent Robert Pandola.
If you have any questions or feel you may have a Weights and Measures complaint, please feel free to contact Mr. Pandola at the above number.
Any county resident who may have questions, please feel free to contact me at Consumer Protection, 856-384-6855.