Like something straight out of a bad 80s horror film, a group of consumer and privacy organisations have warned people that a popular doll for children could in fact be used to listen in on conversations in your home.
The My Friend Cayla doll is able to ‘communicate’ with children and it is believed that it can record and collect private conversations “without any limitations on collection, use, or disclosure of this personal information.”
Another popular toy which has come under scrutiny is the I-QUE Robot, which the group believe is also being used to infiltrate family homes.
This is it, robots are officially taking over.
Both My Friend Cayla and I-QUE are part of a new generation of toys which boast of their ability to interact with children as a unique selling point, but the concerns raised by the group – made up of Electronic Privacy Information Center, Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood, Center for Digital Democracy and Consumers Union – have made people question whether potential hackers with more sinister intentions could take advantage of the technology.
The group have stated that information including parents’ names and home towns can be picked up through children communicating with the toys, and that this information could then lead on to identities being stolen. Both toys are even able to locate IP addresses, which is used for pinpointing locations.
Manufacturer Genesis Toys have been asked to comment on the report, but for now, if you have any of these two toys in your home, it’s probably an idea to take the batteries out…
In the past, people raised similar concerns about Mattel’s hello Barbie doll after it was revealed that the doll’s mobile app and iCloud storage gave hackers the ability to eavesdrop.