My Friend Cayla isn't really your friends, kids. She is actually is a spy working for hackers who are listening to the child's word.
A German watchdog is warning parents about the possible breach of their child's privacy for those who play with the Wi-Fi-connected smart doll, My Friend Cayla.
Its advice to parents? Destroy the doll.
The Federal Network Agency, an official telecommunications watchdog in Germany known as Bundesnetzagentur, issued a warning on Friday about the smart doll, revealing that hackers can listen in and even talk to the child through the toy's insecure Bluetooth connection.
As a result, the Cayla doll has been removed from the market and banned, marked as an illegal "concealed transmitting espionage device." The doll had to be pulled from shelves because according to German law, it is illegal to sell a banned surveillance device.
The same law says also makes it illegal to possess a surveillance device, with those breaking this law risking serving up to two years in jail.
But households who purchased the doll won't be penalized for having the now illegal device. Instead, the German watchdog is advising parents to destroy it.
Manufactured by Genesis Toys, My Friend Cayla is the interactive toy that can talk and play games with the child. The Wi-Fi-enabled doll connects to the Internet via Bluetooth to be able to answer question asked by the child, responding via microphone.
Flaws in the doll's software was uncovered back in January 2015. A law student who filed the original complaint found that any bluetooth-enable device could connect to the speaker and microphone system of the doll within a 33 ft radius, allowing someone to spy on the child or household.
Complaints were also reported to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in December regarding the doll's violation of privacy by allegedly collecting data that is sent to developers of the toy's app. Complaints have also been filed with watchdogs in the EU, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland and Norway.
With the amount of Bluetooth-enabled devices making its way into consumers' homes, it seems like it was only a matter of time before one of them was found to be a threat. It's scary to think that some creep could be spying and talking to children, making the doll turn all Chuckie on parents.
While parents should not pick up this toy for their kids, those who have already purchased it should get to smashing it.