Hello Barbie : The Creepy Doll That Spies on Kids … and their Parents

Vigilant Citizen — vigilantcitizen.com March 16, 2015

Hello Barbie. Click to enlarge

Hello Barbie. Click to enlarge

Hello Barbie is “the world’s first interactive Barbie doll” … and it is rather creepy. Equipped with a microphone and internet connectivity, the doll asks questions to children, records their answers and send the information back to Mattel servers where it is filed and processed by a powerful algorithm.
Hello Barbie works by recording a child’s voice with an embedded microphone that is triggered by pressing a button on the doll. As the doll “listens,” audio recordings travel over the Web to a server where the snippets of speech are recognized and processed. That information is used to help form Hello Barbie’s responses.

– Washington Post, Privacy advocates try to keep ‘creepy,’ ‘eavesdropping’ Hello Barbie from hitting shelves

At the New York toy fair, Mattel representatives demonstrated Hello Barbie’s capabilities.
At the demonstration at the New York toy fair, the Mattel representative chatting with Hello Barbie mentioned that she liked being onstage. Later in the conversation, when the Mattel representative asked Hello Barbie what she should be when she grew up, the doll responded, “Well, you told me you like being onstage. So maybe a dancer? Or a politician? Or how about a dancing politician?”

– Ibid.

A quick review of the privacy policy of ToyTalk (the subdivision that handles Hello Barbie), reveals that the information recorded could be used for a variety of reasons.

Continues …

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