Spy Doll Warning
German watchdog bans talking doll Cayla over security and hacking fears.
16:45 20 February 2017
An official watchdog in Germany, Federal Network Agency, has told parents to destroy talking doll called Cayla over security and hacking fears. The doll features a smart technology and an unsecure Bluetooth device, which according to experts, could be hacked to listen and talk to the child playing with it.
The Vivid Toy group, which distributes My Friend Cayla, has admitted to hacking incidents but insisted that they were isolated cases carried out by specialists. However, the company said it would take the information on board as it was able to upgrade the app used with the doll.
The Cayla doll is connected to the internet and can respond to user’s questions by looking up information online. Its system can be hacked and allow strangers to speak directly to children.
A spokesman for the federal agency said that Cayla amounted to a "concealed transmitting device", which is illegal under an article in German telecoms law.
"It doesn't matter what that object is - it could be an ashtray or fire alarm," he explained.