back to article IoT CloudPets in the doghouse after damning security audit: Now Amazon bans sales

Amazon on Tuesday stopped selling CloudPets, a network-connected family of toys, in response to security and privacy concerns sounded by browser maker and internet community advocate Mozilla. The move follows similar actions taken by Walmart and Target last week. And other sellers of the toy are said to be considering similar …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Pressure by pocketbook" is wishful thinking

    These companies know perfectly well that their customers don't have the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision on the security of these products, and will only get to hear about any issues if they blow up enough to make it into the mainstream media - neither of which is a big risk to them, so they just don't care.

    Consumer buying decisions aren't going to improve this woeful state of affairs, only effective regulation can. And I don't see much sign of politicians having the understanding or will to make that happen, either.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: "Pressure by pocketbook" is wishful thinking

      They are getting "pressure by pocketbook" as 3 of the more prominent US retailers are not carrying them anymore. That will hurt sales as they are harder to find. The pressure does not have to come from consumers directly but by retailers not carrying it. If the product is too difficult to find from a reputable retailer their sales will die. Also, for many semi-casual purchases, many may not bother to search for it if is not available at well retailers.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        "They are getting "pressure by pocketbook"

        Still, you can't rely on this "goodwill" private efforts only. Right not those companies may think the lost revenues are less important than the bad PR - but it could change anytime. The day someone releases a "Cat-O-Matic" and that's a huge success consumer wants despite its security flaws, I'm sure very few retailer will refuse to sell it.

        Don't expect, for example, Amazon stopping to sell Echo even when it sends private conversations to someone else....

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: "They are getting "pressure by pocketbook"

          I think this is the right angle to start getting shops to reject IoS. Cat-o-Matic or not, if it's bad for the children then it'll get pulled.

          After getting a few of those taken off the shelves, then other things could get dropped too, perhaps because they could be in the same house as children.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

      Re: Mixed Feelings

      So, AC, what would you suggest we replace Firefox with?

      Chrome? No thanks. The last thing I want is to be data-slurped by Alphabet.

      Opera? Pretty much dead.

      Vivaldi? Nope - its at best a pale reflection of what Opera was when that was still a Thing. I tried it, didn't like it and the folks at Fedora must agree with me because it vanished from their package repository some time ago.

      PaleMoon? Its the best I've found so far, but judging by the rate at which updates appear, its supported by one man and his dog, with minor bugs taking months to fix: I've had an outstanding bug about handling high res screens registered with them for over six months without fix or acknowledgement. Nonetheless, that's where I'll go if Firefox implodes or tries to bypass my adblocker.

      1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

        Re: Mixed Feelings

        ..Opera? Pretty much dead.....

        Runs fine for me.

        1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

          Re: Mixed Feelings

          ..Opera? Pretty much dead.....

          Runs fine for me.

          And me

      2. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Mixed Feelings

        I had to stop upgrading Firefox at v43, since v44 removed several features, such as fine-grained cookie control. (i.e. it asks set/block/session for each domain it hasn't seen before)

        I switched to Pale Moon, until they too removed fine-grained cookie control.

        So I just use FF v43 again, and it'll never be "upgraded" again.

  3. steviebuk Silver badge

    And this will continue...

    ...with all IoT. Security is expensive. Most people don't bother with security or assume an IoT is secure because they aren't a tech or both. The amount of times I've tried to explain simple security processes to people for them to visibly stop listening to me makes me give up.

    Them - "The login is saying Other User".

    Me - Yes that's a security feature so it doesn't show the last person who logged on. So they don't have an account to then attack.

    Them - "But I don't want to be a Other User".

    Me - No it's because....oh never mind. Just type your user name and login.

    Buy your IoT but don't say I didn't warn you when someone does a DDOS on your IoT lights and you now find out you can no longer turn them on, so have to sit there doing a poo in the dark.

  4. Garymrrsn

    No Place For Children

    The Internet is entirely too dangerous a place for unsupervised children. It is a place where even well educated adults get taken advantage of. The real benefits of information at your fingertips has been drowned in get rich quick schemes. Unfortunately those with the power to do something about it are the ones making money from it and they don't care what happens to some nameless kid.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: No Place For Children

      So what happens when it becomes THEIR kid?

      1. handleoclast Silver badge

        Re: No Place For Children

        So what happens when it becomes THEIR kid?

        They've made enough money selling shoddy, insecure crap that they can afford a nanny to supervise their own kid and prevent it playing on the intertoobz.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Come on Barbie ...

    ... Let's go Stasi.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I see a bright future where "Internet Connected" is a reason not to buy. It already is for me unless it's actually needed and is of practical use and secure.

    1. Milton Silver badge

      '... where "Internet Connected" is a reason not to buy'

      We really need to grow out of this pricelessly stupid spiral of so-called "innovation" which mostly is nothing of the kind, just connecting things to the internet for the sake of it and/or rebranding obvious and common concepts.

      It's all part of a spectrum of deceit and greed where at one end you have internet-connected toasters, kettles, juicers and other b0ll0x and at the other an entire planet is hypnotised by "AI" which simply does not exist, while desperate to offload sensitive data and services to the equivalent of a mainframe (called "cloud" now) because "it'll save money" despite the fact that the phone in their pocket very often has enough CPU and storage to do the job in question (especially if the software they're using had been written efficiently in the first place: the amount of lazy, bloated garbage is astounding).

      Yes, there are some devices that would benefit from being internet-connected, securely and reliably. Yes, there are some worthwhile and even excellent business cases for stuff like "cloud" and even the adaptive-machine-learning systems being propagandised as "AI"—but 95% of the use is at best pointless, frequently not at all cost-effective, and at worst actually introduces new and spectacular modes of failure and compromise.

      We need to stop acting like gullible lemmings and see through the marketurds' endless torrents of shyte.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: '... where "Internet Connected" is a reason not to buy'

        But as a comedian once said, "You can't fix Stupid." So what do you propose?

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: '... where "Internet Connected" is a reason not to buy'

          But as a comedian once said, "You can't fix Stupid."

          He's wrong.

          The main sticking point is how to dispose of the body afterwards without leaving traces.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: '... where "Internet Connected" is a reason not to buy'

            "The main sticking point is how to dispose of the body afterwards without leaving traces."

            That still won't deal with families and friends who can and will get suspicious, and not all of THEM are stupid. Plus there's still the matter of the stupid greatly outnumbering the smart, and numbers count in our society. Ask the polls...

        2. Doctor_Wibble
          Terminator

          Re: '... where "Internet Connected" is a reason not to buy'

          > But as a comedian once said, "You can't fix Stupid." So what do you propose?

          "Ex-ter-mi-nate", as should be done to anything that isn't a perfection-inspired shapeless tentacled blob living inside a personal mini-tank pretending to be a robot.

          The great thing is that the losing side pays for your footsoldier and transports them to the correct location before it is even activated and even after that it is jealously protected by a noisy alarm system that thcweamth and thcweamth and thcweamth if you try and remove it.

          It's a total foolproof win-win.

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Childcatcher

    It's an irregular verb

    Your children.

    Their product

    His pleasure.

    Will continue while SW "developed" by code monkeys continues to be the norm in IoT

    1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: It's an irregular verb

      What you have just illustrated is (if the concept makes sense, which it doesn't) an 'irregular NOUN'.

      Oh, for the 1930s, and decent grammar teaching...

    2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: It's an irregular verb

      What you have just illustrated is (if the concept makes sense, which it doesn't) an 'irregular NOUN'.

      Oh, for the 1930s, and decent grammar teaching...

      An irregular verb would be something like:

      I educate my children by connecting them to the Internet via their toys every day

      You follow the latest toy trends without considering safety

      He is a disgraceful parent who supports child molesters...

  8. Fred Dibnah

    So a company that markets & sells devices that listen to your every word is going to stop selling someone else's devices that listen to your every word.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Alanis Morissette wants a word.

  9. iron Silver badge

    follow through with their pocketbooks?

    Pocketbooks? How old is this Ashley person, 94? I could understand wallet, purse or even card but this isn't the 1930s.

  10. handleoclast Silver badge

    I finally remembered...

    ...what this reminded me of.

    This.

    Say what you like about the films and TV series being full of mindless violence (I like mindless violence), the thing that made them really worth watching was the satire.

    Damn, I can't find a clip of the satirical advert for the thing. That was hilarious. Especially the warning at the end.

    The only thing that makes me sad is that somebody seems to have compiled all the satirical bits into an instruction manual for Donald J Lying-sack-of-shit.

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