Germans warned to DESTROY Cayla, network-connected doll that spies on children

It's called Cayla, it's about a foot tall, and it can be used to listen to and talk to the child playing with it. But who is doing the listening? Anyone in Bluetooth range, reports Germany's Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur).

An official watchdog in Germany has told parents to destroy a talking doll called Cayla because its smart technology can reveal personal data. ... 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".

Watch the BBC's video of Cayla, in its squeaky, sinister voice, say "I've been hacked to say all sorts of scary things."

Cayla was on Boing Boing last year when the FCC received complaints about it. Cayla is on Amazon for $45.

It's so easy to hack that everyday YouTubers are at it!

Notable Replies

  1. Kind of like an IOT Furby.

  2. renke says:

    nice diversion by the company, the decision is not at all based on hacking threats. it is simply illegal in Germany to use or sell gadgets with radio transmitters (or other telecommunication means) which are disguised as items typically not equipped with a radio (section 90 of the telecommunication act, seems to be one of the laws not available in an English translation).

  3. Haven't this company's engineers ever seen an eighties movie? Once possessed these things are practically impossible to kill!

  4. Bobo says:

    I am SO going to get one of these things and mess with my kid (who just happens to be at an age where the possibility of a sentient doll is well within her wheelhouse).

    "I also love unicorns, but don't you think it would be a good idea to put your shoes back neatly where they belong?"

    "Slamming doors is bad. I don't like to play with people who are too noisy!"

    "Hee hee! Playing house with you is fun, but don't you think it's time to pick your clothes up off the floor?"


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