The child's toy has been made illegal in Germany over fears it could be used to spy on children.
The doll, named “My Friend Cayla”, is manufactured by the US company Genesis Toys, can be controlled via a phone app and features speech recognition technology that can allow children to access the internet.
But Germany’s telecommunications watchdog said this week it classified Cayla as an “illegal espionage apparatus” – making it illegal for the toy to be sold in the country.
Under German law it is illegal to manufacture, sell or possess surveillance devices disguised as another object.
As a result, parents could reportedly face up to two years in prison if they fail to destroy their models.
The ruling, made by Germany’s Federal Network Agency, comes after Stefan Hessel, a student at Staarbrücken University, expressed fears over the toys.
The doll can be controlled via an app and connected to the internet.
Hackers could reportedly connect to the doll via bluetooth from a maximum of 15 metres away.
He said: “Access to the doll is completely unsecured. There is no password to protect the connection.”
Mr Hessel said hackers could use the doll’s bluetooth connection from as much as 15 metres away to listen to conversations, as well as speak directly to the child playing with it.
Concerns about the device were first raised in 2015, but the Vivid Toy group, which distributes My Friend Cayla, said instances of hacking were isolated.
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The ruling could potentially have affect EU law across the continent for toymakers.
Vera Jourova, the EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said: “I’m worried about the impact of connected dolls on children’s privacy and safety.”
The European Commission will hold a workshop in the near future to discuss issues surrounding smart toys and appliances with Europe’s consumer and data protection authorities.
Express.co.uk has contacted Vivid Toy Group for comment.
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