Germany bans talking doll, citing security concerns

Blue-eyed, blond and unassuming, a talking child’s doll is susceptible to hackers and could be used as a surveillance device, German officials say.

The “My Friend Cayla” doll can talk and answer questions, it can also be used to collect personal information by recording private conversations through an insecure Bluetooth connection, according to the Federal Network Agency, which enforces a surveillance ban in Germany.

"The Cayla doll is banned in Germany," Jochen Homann, agency head, said in a release. "This is also about protecting the weakest members of society."

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The toy uses voice recognition software and can by synced to the Internet through a smartphone or other electronic device.

Because of its history under fascist and communist rule, Germany has strict laws protecting citizens from data collection.

While the toy has been removed from shelves in Germany, the company still has a website for sales of the doll in Germany. The toymaker has not released a statement on the ban.

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