Privacy Preservation Framework for Smart Connected Toys

  • Benjamin YanksonEmail author
  • Farkhund Iqbal
  • Patrick C. K. Hung
Part of the International Series on Computer Entertainment and Media Technology book series (ISCEMT)


Advances in the toy industry and interconnectedness resulted in rapid and pervasive development of Smart Connected Toy (SCT), which built to aid children in learning, socialization, and development. A SCT is a physical embodiment artifact that acts as a child user interface for toy computing services in cloud. These SCTs are built as part of Internet of Things (IoT) with the potential to collect terabytes of personal and usage information. They introduce the concept of increasing privacy, and serious safety concerns for children, who are the vulnerable sector of our community and must be protected from exposure of offensive content, violence, sexual abuse, and exploitation using SCTs. SCTs are capable to gather data on the context of the child user’s physical activity state (e.g., voice, walking, standing, running, etc.) and store personalized information (e.g., location, activity pattern, etc.) through camera, microphone, Global Positioning System (GPS), and various sensors such as facial recognition or sound detection. In this chapter we are going to discuss the seriousness of privacy implication for these devices, survey related work on privacy issues within the domain of SCT, and discuss some global perspective (legislation, etc.) on such devices. The chapter will conclude by proposing some common best practice for parents and toy manufactures can both adopt as part of Smart Connected Toy Privacy Common body of knowledge for child safety.


Toy computing Security Context data model Security Smart connected toys Internet of Things (IoT) eXtensible Markup Language (XML) Pedri-Nets 


  1. Anikweze GU (2014) The relevance of fabric toys in childhood. Am Int J Res Humant Art Soc Sci 2014:55–62Google Scholar
  2. Cavoukian A (2016) Privacy by design: the 7 foundational principles. IAB, Toronto. Retrieve from
  3. Cheok AD (2009) Petimo: enhanced tangible social networking companion for children. In: Proceedings of the international conference on advances in computer entertainment technology – ACE, pp 411–412Google Scholar
  4. Child C (2006) Rule value reinforcement learning for cognitive agents. In: Proceedings of the fifth international joint conference on autonomous agents and multiagent systems, p 792Google Scholar
  5. D’Hooge HD (2000) Smart toys: brave new world?. CHI ’00 Extended abstracts on human factors in computing systems, 247–248Google Scholar
  6. Huang Y (2011) Steps toward child-designed interactive stuffed toys. In: Proceedings of the 10th international conference on interaction design and children – IDC, pp 165–168Google Scholar
  7. Hughes RL (2015) Two concepts of privacy. Comput Law Secur Rev, ScienceDirect 31(4):5Google Scholar
  8. Hung PC (2015) Mobile services for toy computing, the Springer International Series on Applications and Trends in Computer Science. Springer International Publishing, ChamGoogle Scholar
  9. Jiang Y (2016) Feature. In: 2016 12th World Congress on Intelligent Control and Automation (WCICA), Guilin, China, pp 3167–3171Google Scholar
  10. Jones ML (2016) Can (and should) Hello Barbie keep a secret? IEEEGoogle Scholar
  11. Kara NC (2013) Investigating the activities of children toward a smart storytelling toy. J Educ Technol Soc 16(1):28–43Google Scholar
  12. Khadivi S (2008) Integration of speech recognition and machine translation in computer-assisted translation. In: IEEE transactions on audio, speech and language processing, 1551–1564Google Scholar
  13. LaMonica M (2015) Mobile apps reshape toys and learning. 18 April 2012. [Online]. Available: CNET –
  14. Mcreynolds E, Hubbard S (2017) Toys that listen : a study of parents, children, and internet-connected toys. CHIGoogle Scholar
  15. Rafferty L (2015) Location privacy framework for mobile toy computing. Master Dissertation. University of Ontario Institute of Technology, OshawaGoogle Scholar
  16. Rafferty LB (2015) Toy computing background: mobile services for toy computing. Master Dissertation. University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Springer International Publishing, OshawaGoogle Scholar
  17. Riboni CB (2015) Privacy protection in pervasive systems: state of the art and technical challenges. Pervasive Mob Comput 17:159–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Rzepka R, Higuchi S (2008) Straight thinking straight from the net – on the web-based intelligent talking toy development. In: Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, pp 2172–2176Google Scholar
  19. Sanchez I, Satta R (2014) Privacy leakages in Smart Home wireless technologies. In: International Carnahan Conference on Security Technology, 1–6Google Scholar
  20. Schmidt AB (1999) There is more to context than location. Computers and Graphics (Pergamon) 23(6):893–901. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Shop FT (2016) Forgotten toy shop – history of toys & games. Retrieved from Forgotten Toy Shop – History of Toys & Games:
  22. Smith R (2016) Family Online Safety Institute -connected toys and privacy. What good digital parents should know. Retrieved from Family Online Safety Institute:
  23. Tatli EI (2006) Context data model for privacy. PRIME Project Standardization Workshop, 1–6Google Scholar
  24. Weber RH (2015) The digital future – a challenge for privacy. Comput Law Secur, ScienceDirect 31(2):Z234–Z242Google Scholar
  25. WeLiveSecurity (2016) 5 of the most devastating data breaches of 2015. WeLiveSecurityGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Yankson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Farkhund Iqbal
    • 1
    • 3
  • Patrick C. K. Hung
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Business and ITUniversity of Ontario Institute of TechnologyOshawaCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Applied ComputingSheridan College OakvilleOakvilleCanada
  3. 3.College of Technological Innovation, Zayed UniversityDubaiUAE

Personalised recommendations