“Without the parents’ knowledge of the parents, conversations between the child and others can be recorded and forwarded,” the watchdog said in a statement.
“A company could also use the toys to target the child or parents with advertising. Furthermore, if the radio link is not properly secured by the manufacturer, the toy can be used by nearby parties to eavesdrop on conversations.”
The watchdog has banned all further sales of the dolls in Germany and warned parents that possession of the toys is illegal, as an unlicensed radio device.
However, the watchdog said it would not take any action against parents who have already bought the dolls.
“The Bundesnetzagentur has not asked dealers for any information on buyers. Such an inquiry is not planned in the future,” it said.
“The Bundesnetzagentur assumes parents will destroy the dolls of their own volition. There are no plans to initiate proceedings against parents.”
“Objects which contain concealed cameras or microphones and can pass data unintentionally endanger the privacy of the people. This also applies to children’s toys,” Jochen Homann, the head of the watchdog, said.
“This is also about the protection of the most vulnerable in society.”
Genesis Toys, which makes the dolls, has yet to comment on the ruling.
Vivid Toy Group, which distributes the dolls, has previously said examples of hacking were isolated and carried out by specialists.