Internet-connected toys are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they can offer access to a wealth of knowledge available online, but you need to trust such devices are secure before giving them to kids. In the case of the My Friend Cayla doll, that's definitely not the case.
In December last year, a complaint was filed with the FTC regarding the My Friend Cayla doll and i-Que robot. Due to an insecure Bluetooth connection included with the doll and robot, a hacker could listen in or even talk to a child through the doll.
The doll is manufactured by Genesis Toys and distributed by the Vivid Toy Group in Europe. Apparently it's possible for the dolls to be updated remotely, but this hasn't happened and now official German watchdog the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) is advising parents in the country to destroy their My Friend Cayla dolls.
As the BBC reports, under German telecoms law the Cayla doll is classified as a "concealed transmitting device." Coupled with the very strict privacy laws in the country, the doll is basically illegal, hence the push to destroy them.
Wherever you are in the world, the advice to not use My Friend Cayla dolls should be heeded. The only problem could be if it's currently in the possession of a child who would be distraught to lose it. A visit to a toy shop to select a replacement may remedy that, though.
This story originally appeared on PCMag