These Toys Could Be Spying On Your Child’s Every Movement

My Friend Cayla make look nice enough but she contains some pretty dark secrets.

Woody from Toy Story
Toys used to be our friends Not anymore Image Walt Disney Pictures

Some of your children’s most beloved toys may also be keeping tabs on them.

The manufacturers of the My Friend Cayla doll, Genesis Toys, was recently accused of spying on its customers.

A US-based consumers’ advocacy group issued a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) amid concerns that the doll is violating privacy rights.

My Friend Cayla is capable of recording conversations and reacting, via speech recognition technology, to their owner’s every word. Oh and there is no ‘On’ or ‘Off’ switch on any toy

my-friend-cayla-loaded

More worrying still, these smart dolls are capable of asking personal questions like the names of their parents, favourite food and where they happen to live.

The consumers’ advocacy group are not just worried about that though – they reckon the toys are also able to take users IP addresses. The formal complaint read:

“By purpose and design these toys record and collect the private conversations of young children without any limitations or collection, use, or disclosure of this personal information.”

It is now hoped that the FTC will investigate manufacturers Genesis Toys to find out where the company has violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act which prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.”

i-que-robot-loaded

But it’s not just doll-loving kids who could be under threat. A similar robot-style toy, called the i-QUE may be guilty of similar surveillance techniques.

It might be time to put the toys back in the cupboard. Permanently.

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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.