The Toy Association Statement on AI & Internet Connected Toys / Internet of Things

The Toy Association recognizes that Artificial Intelligence (AI), internet-connected products, and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and services are becoming increasingly common in all types of household products, including those offered by toy companies.

Toy safety is the top priority of the toy industry and protecting children and maintaining the trust of parents are part of that mission. Indeed, all toys sold in the U.S. are required to comply with over 100 different safety standards and tests to ensure the physical safety of children at play.

Toy companies also follow guidance within the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which is overseen by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and includes provisions governing children’s privacy and data security. Toy Association members take seriously their obligation to comply with COPPA in all operations that may involve the online collection of personal information from children, just as they take seriously their obligation to comply with additional laws, such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Additionally, there is an ASTM standard to provide guidance to companies making connected products of all kinds, providing added reassurance to parents and families on the safety of their children’s connected toys.

Recognizing that data minimization concepts are central to safeguarding privacy, the toy industry applauds the FTC for confirming a privacy-friendly approach to voice-activated internet-connected toys. The FTC has recognized that when companies adopt careful procedures to manage voice recordings associated with voice-activated toys by promptly deleting the recording once the request has been recognized, they strike an appropriate balance of fostering an engaging experience while protecting children’s privacy.

As The Toy Association tracks new technologies, including the development of AI, we are committed to educating our members about the potential applications of connected technologies in toys and how to maintain the safety of children and families above all else. The toy industry always prioritizes the safety of children and is committed to doing so with these products.

This statement was reaffirmed by The Toy Association in September 2023.