According to BBC News, the warning to destroy the ‘My Friend Cayla’ doll comes from the Federal Network Agency which oversees telecommunications. Rsearchers share that hackers can use an unsecure bluetooth device embedded in the toy to listen and talk to the child playing with it. See excerpt from story below.
But the UK Toy Retailers Association said Cayla “offers no special risk”.
In a statement sent to the BBC, the TRA also said “there is no reason for alarm”.
The Vivid Toy group, which distributes My Friend Cayla, has previously said that examples of hacking were isolated and carried out 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.
But 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”.
A vulnerability in Cayla’s software was first revealed in January 2015.
Complaints have been filed by US and EU consumer groups.
The EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourova, told the BBC: “I’m worried about the impact of connected dolls on children’s privacy and safety.”
The Commission is investigating whether such smart dolls breach EU data protection safeguards.
In addition to those concerns, 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 at least intermittently”.
It said the distributor Vivid had “restated that the toy is perfectly safe to own and use when following the user instructions”.
Under German law, it is illegal to sell or possess a banned surveillance device. A breach of that law can result in a jail term of up to two years, according to German media reports.
Germany has strict privacy laws to protect against surveillance. In the 20th Century Germans experienced abusive surveillance by the state – in Nazi Germany and communist East Germany.
The warning by Germany’s Federal Network Agency…Read More>>>