UK information commissioner sides with consumers in VTech data row

The UK’s information commissioner has rebuked children’s technology provider VTech for a change in its European terms and conditions to warn consumers that they used the software at their ‘own risk’ in a bid to pre-empt future legal claims.

The newly reworked legalese states: “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 unauthorised parties.

"Use of the site and any software or firmware downloaded therefrom is at your own risk."

Needless to say this clumsy attempt to absolve itself of any responsibility in the event of a security breach did not go down well with calls being made to boycott the Hong-Kong manufacturer.

It follows a major security lapse in November when hackers were able to access the accounts of 6.3m children and 4.8m adults, stealing photos, voice messages and chat conversations as they did so.

The information commissioner has confirmed however that UK law does not allow VTech to abrogate its responsibilities in this way making the decision moot.

John Glenday

John Glenday is responsible for compiling The Drum's daily morning bulletin and ensuring that overnight breaking news is covered while you're still brushing your teeth. Can also make a mean cup of tea.

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