CISPA is currently in the founding process to join the German Helmholtz Association as a new member. It is consequently undergoing significant organizational changes, which are not yet reflected on this webpage.

For further information on the above mentioned founding process, please refer to the official press release by the State Chancellery of Saarland.

Recent News on the Transformation Process


The location of the first construction phase has been agreed upon. For further information, please refer to the official press release .

1. March 2017

Strong media reaction after spying doll “Cayla” has been forbidden due to privacy concerns raised by S. Hessel (CISPA)

Stefan Hessel, a student of CISPA researcher Prof. Sorge, has expressed legal concerns on the children’s doll “My friend Cayla” in his article (in German)
claiming Cayla should be considered a “concealed transmitting device”, illegal according to the German law. He alerted the German Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) issuing a warning and finally forbidding its import, distribution, and even ownership. While Cayla looks like a regular doll, the smart toy can connect to the internet to communicate interactively. If the doll is hacked, hackers can listen and even speak to the child playing with the doll via a bluetooth device inside the toy that lacks any security features. Via its microphone, communication can be transmitted to third-parties, while it is not even obvious when the toy is actually listening and transmitting.

Saarland University has published a Press Release .

fltr: Prof. Christoph Sorge, Stefan Hessel, Photo: Ehrlich

List of selected articles/news:

The Guardian
Sky News
Frankfurter Rundschau (German)
Sueddeutsche Zeitung
Saarbrücker Zeitung