What were they thinking?
I admit and grant that I'm an idiot but I simply don't understand either side of this mess. On the one hand, we have the parents. All I hear is that the children are vulnerable and we must stop them from being abused, I recently saw a judge who said that it was illegal to leave your nine-year-old child alone at home. Parents refuse to let their children out to play on the street, they could be hit by a car, be kidnapped, be hurt in a million different ways... Whether you think this is overkill or not doesn't matter so much just at the moment, but if you think it's great, as many do, why on earth would you let your child's information out of your control? Why would you take any step letting your child on the network without supervision? Obviously, that's the whole point of these kid-friendly apps, they supervise so you don't have to. The broken bone can be fixed, kidnappings are rare, kids often get hurt but they recover. Is there a hospital that can fix your lost anonimity/privacy/profile information? In the absolute best case, you're letting some company market to your kid. In the normal/common case... well, now everyone and not just VTech can make your child's life hard. The easy, understandable, and rare risks are protected against, maybe even overprotected against, while the difficult, unquantifiable, and common risks, are not protected against at all. Is it that you don't really care about the kid and just want to do enough to avoid obvious trouble until the kid leaves home? What are these people thinking?
On the other hand, we have VTech. Is it that their shareholders are satisfied with their current wealth and want no more money? Is it that they thought they were exempt from the usual laws, that they were special unlike, for example, Sony, OPM, Target, Starwood Hotels... Is it that they had some sort of protection from what happens to everyone else? Is it just that they didn't care because nobody cares about personal information and there will be no reduction in sales? Maybe they're right in that, after all, but it still doesn't make sense, surely nobody wants to appear as bungling idiots if nothing worse? Some of these errors are so foolish, so basic, I don't understand the thought processes behind them. What on earth is either side thinking here?