She appears innocent with her school-girl outfit, large blue eyes, and perfectly positioned ponytail, but in reality, she is actually listening to everything your child says and recording every laugh. . . every word.
Her name is Cayla, and she is one of the latest smart toy dolls to hit this popular, expanding market.
Despite her enticing name and symmetric grin, Cayla has become an easy target for hackers who use the unsecured Bluetooth – located in the doll – to eavesdrop on the private moments of your children.
It gets even freakier since some hackers have figured out how to speak to your child through her!
Although Cayla’s maker, The Vivid Toy Group, claims Cayla is safe, Germany has actually outlawed her, stating that she is unlawfully jeopardizing the privacy of innocent families. The country has even gone so far as to encourage its citizens to destroy the doll.
But let’s face it, Cayla is only one of our dilemmas. This holiday season other smart devices are advertised everywhere. Although many of these devices, such as Alexa and Google Home, are not coated with plastic and hair, they still are always listening to our day-to-day lives.
These devices are also alluring to modern parents who utilize this technology to make their lives easier due to quickly available recipes, audio books, kid’s music stations, and more.
And although not all of this technology is aimed towards children, there are few privacy regulations that guarantee that our family’s dinner conversations are not monitored.
Until there are some more stringent privacy regulations put into place, Cayla remains watching and hearing it all.
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About the Author: Amanda Clark resides with her family in Ocala, Florida. In addition to contributing works for Peace Quarters, she also creates educational content for Atlas Mission. She is recently transitioning from a full-time middle school English teacher to a stay-at-home mom, tutor, transcriber, and writer. She has written four books of poetry: Looking at the Moon, Beautifully Mixed-Up World, Flying Fall, and Through the Blinds. She loves technology, juggling pins, and playing with her two-year-old son who will become a big brother in February. She also is a pro at multitasking.