Last December, Vtech, a crapgadget/toy company, suffered a breach that implicated the data of 6.3 million children, caused by its negligence toward the most basic of security measures.
Nevertheless, the company was back in January, advertising its new line of (I'm not making this up) home security products.
Now, the company has re-opened its portal for its children's products, with new terms of service, all in CAPS:
“YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT ANY INFORMATION YOU SEND OR RECEIVE DURING YOUR USE OF THE SITE MAY NOT BE SECURE AND MAY BE INTERCEPTED OR LATER ACQUIRED BY UNAUTHORIZED PARTIES.”
Even by the low standards of license agreements, this is extraordinarily abusive language.
It’s unclear when this language was added, but the document says it was updated on December 24 of last year. (VTech did not respond to a request for comment on the Terms and Conditions but said “key functions” of the Learning Lodge came back online on January 23.)
But security and privacy experts are concerned that this could be an attempt to skirt lawsuits in case of a future data breach—and they believe consumers should be aware of the move to avoid liability, especially considering that VTech is now getting in the house monitoring business.
Rik Ferguson, the vice president of security research at Trend Micro, said the clause is “outrageous, unforgivable, ignorant, opportunistic, and indefensible,” and likened it to “weasel words.” Despite this surprising change—a British law professors told me he’s “never seen a clause like that before”—legal experts doubt the provision has any real value.
Hacked Toy Company VTech’s TOS Now Says It’s Not Liable for Hacks
Mike Moffitt sums up the empirical work on the impact of rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft for cities: an increase in congestion, especially downtown, especially during "surges" (Uber and Lyft insist that they reduce congestion, especially in downtowns, and especially during surges!); lower wages, longer hours and more precarious work for drivers (accompanied by […]
Oliver Brotherhood is a British vlogger with over 3 million subscribers who has produced a string of very popular Minecraft-related videos under the name Mumbo Jumbo; yesterday, in the space of two hours, a quarter of his videos were claimed by music publishing giant and notorious copyright fraudsters Warner Chappell, who will now get revenues […]
Writing in Fortune, Beth Kowitt gives us a look inside the Googler Uprising, wherein Google staff launched a string of internal reform movements, triggered first by the company's secret participation in an AI/drone warfare project for the Pentagon, then a secret attempt to build a censored/surveilling search engine for use in China, then the revelation […]
Raspberry Pi is one of the world’s most versatile open-source computers. Alexa is a home automation hub with limitless potential. Together, they’re a dream team for ambitious makers, opening the door to everything from automatic lights to voice-controlled robots. Learning Raspberry Pi is meant to be relatively easy for newbies, but its applications with Alexa […]
Heads up: The clock is winding down on a free-entry contest to win not only one of the best smartphones on the market but a handy pair of earbuds. A simple sign-up is all you need to be eligible to win a 256 GB iPhone XS Max, along with AirPods. And while “free” is tough […]
Kudos to those of us who have chosen a less wasteful third option to “paper or plastic” at the supermarket or club stores. Tote bags are reusable, but they can be a pain to tote around. Here’s an upgrade to that planet-saving measure. The Club Cart Lotus Trolley Bag is that rare tote you’ll want […]