Teddy really is listening

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Children like to pretend their teddies are real. Maybe they were right all along. CloudPets feature cloud-based technology that allows someone using the related app to upload a message, which is sent to a parent for approval. Once approved, it is delivered to the CloudPet, which blinks to alert the child to an incoming message. The child squeezes the CloudPet’s paw to hear the message.

All of this is a great idea to connect family around the world with ease. But all that data requires security. And that’s behind the latest tech bungle: Right after the Christmas holidays, the company left its data unsecured, exposing 800,000 customer credentials and 2 million message recordings. A cybersecurity expert said the technology could easily be hacked and turned into a spy device.

This is the latest in a long line of Internet of Things devices that have proven to be hackable. That this one involved children was particularly creepy. IoT holds plenty of promise, but if security isn’t as whiz-bang as the technology, it could lose its luster.

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