Parents Told To Destroy My Friend Cayla Doll Because Of Hacking Fears

Parents Told To Destroy My Friend Cayla Doll Because Of Hacking Fears

Authorities in Germany have ordered parents to destroy the doll My Friend Cayla following reports that it can be hacked so that it's smart technology can reveal personal data and 'spy' on children.

The warning was issued by the German Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), which oversees telecommunications, as their researchers say hackers can use an unsecure bluetooth device in the toy to listen and talk to the child playing with it.

A spokesman for the federal agency told local German media Cayla was effectively a "concealed transmitting device" and was illegal.

However the BBC reports that the UK Toy Retailers Association have said that Cayla "offers no special risk" and that "there is no reason for alarm".

Concerns have been expressed about the software used by My Friend Cayla Doll several times since it was released, as it uses bluetooth technology to respond to children's questions using the internet, and a hack allowing strangers to speak directly to children via the My Friend Cayla doll has been shown to be possible.

There have been previous reports of the toy being hacked, and the doll's distributor, Vivid Toy group, had previously said that those examples were isolated. The manufacturer, Genesis Toys have yet to comment on the warning to parents in Germany.

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