My Friend Cayla Doll

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My Friend Cayla Doll
Short Title My Friend Cayla Dolls Record Conversations with Children
Location Global
Date 2017

Taxonomy Surveillance, Insecurity
Information Communication, Computer Device, Contact, Behavioral
Threat Actors Genesis Toys

Individuals
Affected Children using Cayla dolls
High Risk Groups Children
Secondary Consequences

The doll model My Friend Cayla was found to be recording conversations with children and sending them to remote servers without parental consent.

Description

My Friend Cayla is a model of an interactive doll produced by Genesis Toys. The doll uses speech recognition technology to be able to have a conversation with children who play with them.

Cayla dolls are connected to the internet and have microphones incorporated in them, recording conversations and transmitting audio files to a remote server without parental consent.Surveillance

The toy also allows a company to address the child or parents with advertising. Furthermore, Cayla dolls can be used unnoticed by third parties in the vicinity to eavesdrop on conversations or to speak through the doll's microphone. In 2017 the media was able to hack a doll and prove that Cayla’s Insecurity allows strangers to speak directly to children.

As a reaction to the privacy violations, the My Friend Cayla dolls were banned in Germany in 2017. However, it is still being sold in other countries.

Risk Statistics

Laws and Regulations

Sources

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/24/opinion/sunday/surveillance-capitalism.html
https://www.cnet.com/news/parents-told-to-destroy-connected-dolls-over-hacking-fears/
https://www.bundesnetzagentur.de/SharedDocs/Pressemitteilungen/DE/2017/14012017 cayla.html?nn=265778
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39002142