Santa’s Seven Favorite Surveillance Toys of 2022


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Photo: Jeff J Mitchell (Getty Images)

It’s the holiday season and now, maybe more than ever, kids around the world are begging their parents for the next shiny gadgets and gizmos. While there’s no shortage of enticing new tech toys to choose from, recent revelations unearthed from The Facebook Papers and academic research show the potentially troubling effects internet-connected devices (particularly those with links to social media) can have on the mental health of kids and teens. Data brokers and harvesters, meanwhile, are as eager as ever to siphon up younger users’ personal data.

It’s with those concerns in mind that nonprofit child safety organization ParentsTogether decided to put together its 2022 Dangerous Tech Toys report. The organization says it compiled the list, not necessarily as a “what not to buy” list, but rather to serve as a conversation piece to help parents learn about the dangers some seemingly innocuous toys could pose.

“As we approach the holiday season, parents are starting to think about what gifts to buy their children, and with kids spending so much time online between school and play, tech products are inevitably coming up,” ParentsTogether, Campaign Director Shelby Knox said in a statement. “We want to make sure that parents are equipped with the information they need to keep their kids safe and informed, as we’ve seen time and time again that we can’t trust huge tech companies that put profit before safety.”

That said, if you did happen to buy one of these devices for your kids, we promise we won’t tell anyone if you start reaching for the receipt or rip out the batteries. Keep reading through to see some of the most dangerous tech toys for kids and teens, according to the ParentsTogether report.


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