“My Friend Cayla” is your child’s new high-tech best friend. The doll tells your child what she’d like to do or places she’d like to go. She loves the song “Let it Go,” for example, and dreams of going to Disneyland. But My Friend Cayla isn’t just serving up stealth ads disguised as childhood bonding. She’s also recording everything your child tells her – from her daydreams to her secrets – and sending it back to the doll’s manufacturer. What could go wrong?
A lot. A security researcher discovered critical flaws in Cayla’s software, flaws that would allow anyone with a little know-how to hack into Cayla’s system, and communicate directly with your kid. This is real life in today’s Internet of Things, where Internet-connected devices have taken up residence in our most intimate spaces.