PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There’s ‘Trouble in Toyland,” according to the annual survey of toy safety this holiday season, from PennPIRG, the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group. The consumer group is targeting the usual suspects, plus a new potential hazard.
Michael Roles, the field director for PennPIRG Education Fund, held up a “My friend, Cayla” doll, as an example of a new category this year,
“data collecting toys.”
“The doll has been banned in Germany for privacy violations, and is subject of a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission,” said Roles.
Cayla is bluetooth-enabled, using speech recognition technology to chat with her young owners.
“As part of the ‘Internet of Things,’ data collection, data privacy, and the sharing of consumer information are becoming greater concerns,” said Roles.
Roles says PennPIRG also put Target in its bulls-eye, and after first balking, the retailer pulled two models of unsafe Fidget Spinners off its shelves after finding dangerous levels of lead. Now, PennPIRG is persisting, seeking a complete recall.
“So that people who have already purchased the products won’t suffer any health consequences from playing with these toxic toys,” said Roles.
Its annual reports have led the Consumer Product Safety Commission to recall over 150 products that pose potential safety hazards.
PennPIRG also has problems with inadequately labeled toys, including those with small parts without warning labels, and balloons that are easily inhaled by young children.