Is the “My Friend Cayla” Doll Spying on Your Kids?

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Fri, Feb 17 - 4:30 pm EDT | 1 year ago by
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When I was a kid, I remember all of the excitement surrounding a doll called Teddy Ruxpin. He almost looked like a normal stuffed animal but he had the ability to read stories to children. Equipped with a tape recorder, kids could put cassette tapes into his back and his eyes and mouth would move as he played back the audio (me and my friends thought it was great to make him sing along to Def Leppard but I digress…).

I asked for a Teddy Ruxpin. A bunch of my friends had one and my grandmother was completely against it. She said that she didn’t trust it, he looked creepy, and said that, if I wanted to read a story, we could do it together. I was so disappointed but, looking back, that woman was so wise.

I thought of that story when I read about this new ridiculous doll called My Friend Cayla. She looks terrifying from the outside so I can’t believe that her face isn’t more of a deterrent but people are actually buying this toy for their kids despite the fact that it is Wi-Fi connected and capable of recording conversations.

Yeah, with all of the kidnappings, webcam hackings, and sex-trafficking in the world, this sounds like a GREAT idea! Come on, people!

The situation has prompted the German government to advice parents to consider My Friend Cayla a personal security threat since it is in violation of German telecom law. Apparently, the smart technology and microphone are enough to classified as a “concealed transmitting device,” which is prohibited for sale or possession in the country. After all, they do kind of have an ugly history with espionage and all that…

What should parents do with this thing? “Destroy” it. Even the Center for Digital Democracy has weighed in saying that My Friend Cayla can “record and collect the private conversations of young children without any limitations on collection, use, or disclosure of this personal information.”

Complaints have been streaming in across Europe and the United States so, if you have one in your house, you might want to throw it in the trash.

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