Bluetooth-enabled 'My Friend Cayla' doll could give strangers access to your child

By: Letisha Bereola, Action News Jax

Updated:

PDF: Education Fund’s 32nd annual Trouble in Toyland report 

Consumer groups are out with their annual dangerous toy list. This year’s list includes a toy Action News Jax warned you about this summer.

Original story: 

The “My Friend Cayla" doll gives anyone with a Bluetooth-enabled phone access to your child — and consumer groups want the federal government to pull the popular toy from store shelves.

Using an app, parents can have entire conversations with their children through the doll — but so could strangers.

That's why some people say the doll could open the door for a child predator. Privacy concerns led Germany to ban the sale of the doll, which is made in the United States.

An attorney filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission to pull the doll from shelves in the U.S.

“If the doll is turned on, [anyone] can see that the doll available and could pair with it on their phone using Bluetooth,” attorney Chris Laughlin, who filed the complaint, said.

 

An Action News Jax investigation found that anyone within 90 feet of the doll can easily access its Bluetooth. You can literally say anything — and it’ll come out through the speaker.

Strangers can have a two-way conversation with your kid — and all they will need is two phones.

Jacksonville mother Robin Luaway is among those who are concerned about the doll.

“We should go back to how it was,” Luaway said. “Play outside."

Cayla’s terms of service warns that it cannot guarantee that the Cayla app will be free of content that you might consider unacceptable. The company says its safeguards do not replace parental supervision.

But when you closely read Cayla’s terms of service on its website, it clearly says that they “will use information collected about you for a variety of business purposes."

The FCC has not yet responded to the attorney's complaint.

Action News Jax reached out to Cayla's software company for a comment on the allegations in the FTC complaint, but the company has not responded.

RELATED: Read the FBI's warning about Bluetooth-connected toys 

Next Up: