Creepy Barbie…The doll that records what the kids are saying and then ships it back to corporate base

Posted: 19 March, 2015 in US News
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hello barbie The Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood writes:

Imagine your children playing with a doll that records everything they say and transmits it all to a corporation which analyzes every word to learn all of [your child’s] likes and dislikes. That’s exactly what Mattel’s eavesdropping Hello Barbie does.

Unless we take action, it will be in toy stores this autumn. Kids using Hello Barbie ‘ aren’t only talking to a doll, they are talking directly to a toy conglomerate whose only interest in them is financial. It’s creepy–and creates a host of dangers for children and families.

The Wi-Fi-connected Hello Barbie uses an embedded microphone to record children’s voices–and other nearby conversations–before sending them over the Internet to cloud servers. From there, Mattel’s technology partner ToyTalk processes the audio with voice-recognition software. During its Toy Fair 2015 product demonstration, Mattel said it will use this information to push data back to children through Barbie’s built-in speaker.

Hello Barbie’s eavesdropping capabilities take technology to an even more troubling level. Children naturally reveal a lot about themselves when they play. In Mattel’s demo, Barbie asks many questions that encourage kids to share information about their interests, their families, and more–all of which could be of great value to advertisers and be used to market unfairly to children.

See the  CCFC campaign demanding that Mattel halt marketing and production of “Hello Barbie.”


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