Come December 25, there will no doubt be many a new doll lying under a Christmas tree. Either one that walks, one that talks, or one that cries or laughs. So at 18 inches tall, a blonde-haired, blue-eyed doll – sporting a denim jacket and pink skirt no less – should seem quite harmless.
But according to EU and US consumer watchdogs, “My Friend Cayla” is just one doll among a group of toys that can reportedly “spy” on children and their homes, breaching a whole plethora of privacy and data protection laws in the process.
When connected to a special app via Bluetooth, children can ask the doll questions. The speech is then converted into text and the app searches for a suitable answer on the internet, enabling the toy to respond.
But now the European Consumer Organization (BEUC) and US groups such the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) have filed complaints against…