Are your kids' smart toys collecting data without your permission?

Federal law requires parentS' permission to track data from anyone 13 or younger

It’s not just Santa who knows whether children have been naughty or nice this year. 

That's because many of the high-tech gadgets parents give as holiday presents can actually track, monitor and record their children, according to a report by CBS News.

Because of that, Emily Eute said she and her family are starting a new, technology-free Christmas tradition.

"I do know a lot of parents who give their kids those things, but for us, we don't care to put our kids out there like that,” Eute said.

Eute said she and her husband worry about the private data that is being collected on apps made for kids.

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"I think people need to sit down and think about where this data is going,” she said. “Who's keeping track of me?"

Federal law requires a parent's permission to track and collect data from anyone 13 and younger, according to CBS.

But a complaint recently filed with the Federal Trade Commission alleges that some apps in the Google Play store don't give "direct notice to parents or obtain parental permission."

Pressure is mounting against tech and social-media giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter to reveal how information is being sold to third parties. 

“Do you or do you not collect identifiers like name, age, and address?" Google was asked during a Congressional hearing.

Google's CEO Sundar Pichai defended the company's practices to congress.

"We definitely are very careful and minimize the data we need to provide the service back to our user..." Pichai said.

Serge Egelman, the director for the International Computer Science Institute, said he found that nearly 20,000 apps were in violation of FTC laws.

“We were really surprised that it appears that a majority of the apps that we tested seemed to be in violation of for one reason or another,” Egelman said.

Some of his research is now being used as evidence. 

Egelman said there’s no simple fix.

"I honestly don't think there is anything that parents or consumers, in general, can really do about this because they have no way of knowing when this is even happening," he said.

That's why Emily and her family are opting for simple and classic gifts under the tree this year.

“They have crossed the line that we just can search something without that data being taken,” Eute said. “We don't need other people meddling in our business all the time."