The Bright-Eyed Talking Doll That Just Might Be a Spy

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The Bright-Eyed Talking Doll That Just Might Be a Spy
That’s the stark warning parents in Germany received on Friday from the country’s telecommunications watchdog, the Federal Network Agency,
which said hackers could use the doll to steal personal data by recording private conversations over an insecure Bluetooth connection.
In December, advocacy groups filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging
that Genesis Toys had violated the rules on children’s privacy because the Cayla doll records and transmits the voice prints of children to Nuance Communications, a computer-software company.
For example, “Hello Barbie,” an interactive doll, is sold in the United States but not in Germany, where the news media has dubbed it the “Stasi-Barbie,” a reference to the widely hated East German secret police
that infiltrated the everyday lives of Germans to such an extent that even relatives were distrustful of one another.
Mr. Homann encouraged parents to deactivate the doll, which is manufactured
by United States-based Genesis Toys and distributed by the Vivid Toy group.

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