Smart toys are devices with the appearance of traditional children’s toys (e.g. dolls or cuddly toys) but they are capable of interacting with the surrounding environment, connecting to the Internet and using technological systems. They are robots, characterized by a more or less developed level of automation, to the point that the most recent models of connected toys are equipped with artificial intelligence. Although smart toys are fun and sometimes even educational games, they are still tools that collect, process and communicate data, with possible risks, especially for minors. Indeed, first of all it is very concrete and serious the risk of unlawful processing of minors’ personal data, but also the risk of hacker attacks, issues related to possible emotional bonds between the minor and the toy, as well as psychical manipulation. This paper will deepen the concept of smart toys, starting from the characteristics and the technical aspects and then moving on to the analysis of their possibilities and risks, in order to identify the possible legal remedies to be foreseen for protecting minors.
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