'Creepy' Talking Barbie Doll Raises Privacy Concerns
Mattel's new talking "Hello Barbie" doll is able to listen and respond to children thanks to speech recognition. But one consumer advocacy group says that Mattel should ditch the "creepy" toy before it hits shelves this fall.
Fox 6 Now reported that “Hello Barbie” uses speech recognition and connects to Wi-Fi. When someone presses a button on her belt buckle, Barbie will record what you say and send it it up to the cloud. It’s saved, so Barbie keeps learning more and more about you, in order to inform her responses.
Associate Director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood Josh Golin said on "Fox and Friends Weekend" that when kids are talking to "Hello Barbie," they're not just talking to a doll, they're talking to a corporation whose only interest in the child is financial.
"Everything that that child says is going to be recorded, sent over Wi-Fi, stored on the cloud and then analyzed to figure out that child's likes and dislikes," Golin explained.
"The potential is that that sensitive information, a child's own words in their own voice, will be exploited for marketing purposes and also that it could be compromised."
Golin said that doesn't go nearly far enough and asserted that Mattel can use this information in many ways to push other products onto children.
He noted that "Hello Barbie" isn't out on the market yet, so Mattel can listen to the negative feedback and do the right thing by not releasing the product.
"They're going to hurt their brand by putting out such a creepy doll."
"Hello Barbie" is still scheduled to hit toy stores before the holidays and will cost $74.99.
Watch the "Fox and Friends Weekend" clip above.
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