#CyberFLASH: VTech moves to limit liability on breaches of data of children playing with its toys

KNUTSFORD, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 29:  In this photograph illustration a ten-year-old boy uses an Apple Ipad tablet computer on November 29, 2011 in Knutsford, United Kingdom. Tablet computers have become the most wanted Christmas present for children between the ages of 6-11 years. Many parents are having to share their tablet computers with their children as software companies release hundredes of educational and fun applications each month.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)A toy company says it’s not responsible for future data breaches, just months after 6.3 million children’s profiles on its websites were hacked.

VTech, a Hong Kong-based company that makes e-learning toys, is under fire from privacy experts and parents alike after it changed its terms and conditions following a massive security breach in November that left millions of parents and children exposed.

On Nov. 27, VTech, which makes interactive toys such as tablets, toy cars and smart watches, warned customers that a hacker had accessed customer data on Learning Lodge, the PlanetVTech website, and Kid Connect servers.

The hack occurred on Nov. 14, the company says on its website.

New terms and conditions, shown to customers in the U.K. and Australia and made public by Australian data security specialist Troy Hunt, warn parents that they assume the risk in the case of any future data breach: “You 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 unauthorized parties,” the new terms and conditions read.

“You acknowledge and agree that your use of the site and any software or firmware downloaded there from is at your own risk.”

“You can sort of tell a lot about an organization by how they respond to these incidents,” says Hunt, a parent.

Hunt accused the company of trying to shirk its responsibilities to its customers.

About 6.3 million kids’ profiles were affected, including about 316,500 profiles in Canada.

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