The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is informing the public about what appears to be a hoax related to Talking Angela, a chat app geared towards adults and children featuring a cartoon cat. Based on information reported to Cybertip.ca, Canada’s tipline for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children, the app was said to request personal information from children and ask them questions of a sexual nature. In addition, the app was also reported to be controlled by an individual who took pictures (allegedly through the eye of the cat) of the children using the app without their knowledge. Through a variety of sources, Cybertip.ca has reason to believe that the allegations surrounding the app and its use to exploit children are not well founded at this time. However, parents do need to be aware that this does not in any way minimize the potential stress experienced by children and youth using the Talking Angela if they have received any concerning messages related this app.
Although the current allegations concerning the app do not appear to be true, it is noted the app could benefit from improvements to its security features. Switching between adult mode and child mode is very easy to do, with no parental controls or passwords required. It is important to be aware of the apps your child is downloading and the security settings available for those apps. For more information pertaining to apps and what you can do as a parent, click here.
Regards, Cybertip.ca, Canada's tipline operated by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection