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German company says talking doll is not "espionage device"

BERLIN: The distributor of a talking doll which has been banned by German authorities due to security risks said on Monday the toy was not an "espionage device" and its lawyers would challenge the sale ban in court.
The Federal Network Agency issued the ban of the doll named Cayla on Friday, recommending parents who bought the toy for their children to destroy it because the software inside could be hacked and allow personal data to be revealed.
The German distributor of the doll, Vivid GmbH, said it was taking the allegations "very seriously" but did not share the view that Cayla was violating Germany's espionage laws.
"She is not an espionage device and can be used safely in every respect according to the user manual," the company said in a statement when asked by Reuters to comment on the ban.
Vivid will therefore legally challenge the decision by German authorities to ban the doll, it said.
Surveillance is a sensitive issue in Germany where East Germany's Stasi secret police and the Nazi-era Gestapo kept a close watch on the population.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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