This doll is a spy!

Germany: A warning was issued by the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), which oversees telecommunications asking parents in Germany to destroy a talking doll named Cayla as its smart technology can reveal some personal data.

According to researchers, hackers may use an unsecure bluetooth device embedded in the toy to listen and talk to the child playing with it. On the other hand, the UK Toy Retailers Association said Cayla "offers no special risk".

The Vivid Toy group, which distributes the doll Cayla, has previously said that examples of hacking were isolated and carried out only by specialists. However, it said the company would take the information on board as it was able to upgrade the app used with the doll. Although experts have warned that the problem has not been fixed.

The Cayla doll can respond to a user's question by accessing the internet. For example, if a child asks the doll "what is a little horse called?" the doll can reply "it's called a foal".

Cayla's software vulnerability was first revealed in January 2015. Complaints have been filed by US and EU consumer groups.

A hack allowing strangers to speak directly to children via the My Friend Cayla doll has been shown to be possible. The TRA said "we would always expect parents to supervise their children".

It said the distributor Vivid had "restated that the toy is perfectly safe to own and use when following the user instructions".

Agencies