New High Tech Toy Doll Could Be Cyber-Threat, Say Experts
In the ever increasing efforts to blend technology into children's toys, a leading consumer group warns sometimes it can go too far.
The Oregon State Public Interest Research Group, or OSPIRG, is one of a number of groups that are part of the United States Public Interest Research Group. They publish information and reports about safety and security, especially for children's toys.
This November, the watchdog group has added online security to it's list of potential hazards, besides choking and toxicity.
OSPIRG says a popular new children's doll, called "My Friend Cayla" could pose a potential online cyber hazard. The doll, which is made by a company in CA and sells for between $28-$40, 'collects' information about it's owner from being tethered to a smartphone, and it accesses the internet by way of an App. It gathers data about the child, including their friends, school and other information.
The doll is found at numerous retail locations, we found it online at Amazon. It can be purchased in several styles and features several ethnic backrounds.
It's an effort to make the doll perhaps the most 'realistic' friend toy marketed so far. But OSPIRG says the doll could make a child's information available on the internet. German officials have banned sale of the doll, claiming it's vulnerable to hackers and it violated privacy laws, according to a National Public Radio report.
According to the Eugene Register-Guard newspaper, a call to the toy's manufacturer, Genesis Toys in Southern CA, was not answered or responded to.