Our society has become obsessed with technology. Barbie dolls now come equipped with mechanical brains, and miniature versions of “smartwatches” are being marketed as necessary for a full and enriching childhood.
The technology tsunami is meant to keep our children on the “cutting edge” of progress, connect them electronically to the abundance of resources available online, and prepare them for a boundless future.
There is, unfortunately, a fundamental flaw in this theory. Children need connection with live human beings. Not only is technology retarding their social development, and alienating them from one another. It is making them increasingly vulnerable to predators .
As an illustration, Gator 2 smartwatches provide parents with the GPS location of their offspring. Meant as a safety measure, this feature becomes a liability when the watches are hacked. Patterns of activity can be identified, e.g. dismissal time from school or ballet class, and private messages between parents and child easily accessed and subverted.
The “Internet of Things” Teddy Bear, an internet-connected teddy bear by Spiral Toys, left more than two million such private recordings, and 800,000 customer credentials exposed online . The teddy bears, themselves, could, also, be hacked .
One cybersecurity firm hacked Barbie to demonstrate that access to the doll’s microphone could allow a stranger to record whatever was said in the doll’s presence, not to mention providing access to a home’s wi-fi network. Shades of “Chucky” come to mind .
The FBI cautions parents to think carefully before bringing toys with microphones, cameras, sensors, data storage capacity, and capabilities like GPS or speech recognition into the home.
First and foremost, children need the time and attention of adults who love them.
“Children are a gift from the Lord…” (Ps. 127: 3 NLT).
 Quartz Media, Not Kidding, “Tech meant to keep kids safe is actually making the more vulnerable” by David Gershgorn, 10/18/17, https://qz.com/1105628/gator-2-smartwatch-tech-meant-to-keep-kids-safe-is-actually-making-them-more-vulnerable/.
 Motherboard, “Internet of Things Teddy Bear Leaked 2 Million Parent and Kids Message Recordings” by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, 2/27/17, https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/pgwean/internet-of-things-teddy-bear-leaked-2-million-parent-and-kids-message-recordings.
 Motherboard, “How This Internet of Things Stuffed Animal Can Be Remotely Turned into a Spy Device” by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, 2/28/17, https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/qkm48b/how-this-internet-of-things-teddy-bear-can-be-remotely-turned-into-a-spy-device.
 “Chucky” is a maniacal doll that comes to life in the Child’s Play series of horror films. The “Chucky” character was created by Tom Holland.
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