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VTech hit with $650,000 fine over 2015 data breach

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/MaximP)

Children's toy firm VTech Electronics has been slapped with a $650,000 fine after admitting to a major data breach in 2015.

The firm settled privacy violation allegations with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and agreed to pay a fine for not properly securing its technology, leading to a data breach that put users, the vast majority of whom were children, at risk.

"As a parent, I know raising digital natives comes with a host of new challenges," tweeted FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny wrote "This case underscores that we must remain mindful about how kids data is collected & used by toys & that toymakers must comply w/ #COPPA"

The breach, which took place in December 2015, saw app store database Learning Lodge hacked, with some five million user accounts compromised.

The hackers got their hands on names, email addresses, passwords, secret questions and answers for password retrieval, IP addresses, mailing addresses and download history.

“We are committed to protecting our customer information and their privacy, to ensure against any such incidents in the future,” the company said in a statement. 

“Our Privacy Statement can be found on our website. The investigation continues as we look at additional ways to strengthen the security of all on-line services provided by VTech. We will provide further updates as appropriate in the future. “

Image source: Shutterstock/MaximP

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.