I see three things that are properly called "press releases" in the headlines of Slashdot this morning. It's a typical beginner mistake. Please stop.
HID is another one.
:-) While not being that old I guess that law just predates the idea that anyone in his sane mind could even have the idea to use a hidden microphone and a radio transmitter as a toy.
First of all, it has nothing to do with any radio licensing or bugs or hijacking, The description of what is forbidden is pretty clear:
die ihrer Form nach einen anderen Gegenstand vortäuschen oder die mit Gegenständen des täglichen Gebrauchs verkleidet sind und auf Grund dieser Umstände oder auf Grund ihrer Funktionsweise in besonderer Weise geeignet und dazu bestimmt sind, das nicht öffentlich gesprochene Wort eines anderen von diesem unbemerkt abzuhören oder das Bild eines anderen von diesem unbemerkt aufzunehmen.
Let's start from the back: The device has to be capable to record or transmit non-public speech or image unnoticed. Check. But that would be true for any phone or mp3-player, so there are some other required features: The device has to be either a) pretending to be another class of object or b) to be disguised with an everyday object or c) suitable and meant to facilitate secret recordings or transmissions.
We have a recording device that is hidden in a doll (everyday object). It transmits speech to a server. That's basically it. Even small changes, as local speech processing would let that doll of the hook, so comparisons to your other examples are academic exercises, as these aren't identical. Then lots of detail is lost in translation, like a subtle difference for audio and "images" (still or moving)
The case would be clear for Alexa: This device is not disguised and lights up when recording or transmitting. So nothing unnoticed.
The phone in the pocket.. well.. just say if you set it to record before putting it into your pocket, you would WISH that this law was used, because secretly recording someone is a criminal offense, while this here only calls for verified destruction of offending devices.
The microphone and camera in the Smart TV is a really interesting case. If you think actions should be taken, there is an email address to report suspicious devices.
And as a fun fact: it is not enough to attach a warning label to legalize hidden recording devices. Heck knows why. But we're talking about lawyers, so it's probably not heaven knows why....
Reference: 90 TKG
The refund idea probably won't work, as you had to buy that doll somewhere where they are legal, so there's no need for a refund there.
But I like the idea with the witch burning. Just imagine telling little girls "Yes sweetheart, Cayla was a bad doll.. se what we do with bad dolls here....? Muahaha..."
In Germany, the BNetzA licenses such devices. Why did it approve this doll for sale in the first place? What changed between then and now?
I don't think anything has changed.
It was never licensed in Germany, but if it us sold anywhere in the EU, it can be imported into Germany without problems. And even radio equipment that was licensed and tested to behave to its standards (like Wifi, Bluetooth, LTE...) in one EU country is legal to be used everywhere in Europe. (Assuming it is correctly operated according to additional national regulations and instruction manual. Example: Operating WiFi is legal only if the channel selection is set to your current country - channel assignments vary)
But as not all laws are identical all over germany, it may be legal to sell or buy something in france that is illegal 5 miles away across the border. People from the states should know that. It's exactly like buying alcohol in a supermarket in Virginia and driving back to Maryland.
Your phone uses Bluetooth. If you leave it in your pocket, does that make it a hidden surveillance device?
No. If you set it to record, it does make your jacket the illiegal device and you the manufacturer of an object that contains a hidden recording or transmission
As long as the phone is clearly recognizable as a phone, there is no problem with the phone or for the phone manufacturer.
Really earlier than that, Fermi expected it and had equipment shielded and double-shielded when testing the first nuclear bomb. But we should not confuse cosmic rays and EMP.
There must be more to life than having everything. -- Maurice Sendak