Data protection for networked and robotic toys - a legal perspective

R. Panetta*, F. Sartore

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper is aimed to understand the state of the art and the resulting consequences of the legal framework in Europe, with regard to the protection of children's data. Especially when they interact with networked and robotic toys, like in 'My friend Cayla' case. In order to evaluate the practical implications of the use of IoT devices by children or teenager users, the first part of the paper presents an analysis of the international guiding principles of the protection of minors, a category which enjoys a higher level of protection of their fundamental rights, due to their condition of lack of physical and psychological maturity. Secondly, the focus is moved upon the protection of personal data of children. Only after confronting previous data protection legal instruments and having compared them with the novelties set forth in General Data Protection Regulation, it is reasonable to assume that new provisions such as "privacy by design" principle, adequacy of security measures and codes of conduct, can support data controllers in ensuring compliance (in line with the accountability principle) in the field of IoT toys. In conclusion, the paper supports a view of Data Protection Authorities as a relevant player in enhancing these renovated tools in order to achieve the protection of children's rights, as to ensure their substantial protection against the threats of the interconnected world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Review of Information Ethics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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