'Creepy' new Barbie that records kids conversations
PRIVACY advocates are trying to stop the release of a new Barbie doll which can converse with children.
Hello Barbie was unveiled in February, and records voices using an embedded microphone activated by a button.
The audio is then sent to a server and converted into information which Barbie uses in her responses.
Like any other electronic device, Barbie updates via Wi-Fi to keep up to date.
All this might sound cute, but privacy advocates aren't so sure.
Advocacy group Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has set up a petition, which already has 5000 signatures.
"Imagine your children playing with a Wi-Fi-connected doll that records their conversations and then transmits them to a corporation which analyses every word to learn all of [the child's] likes and dislikes. That's exactly what Mattel's eavesdropping Hello Barbie will do if it is released this [northern] fall," reads the petition.
"Kids using Hello Barbie won't only be talking to a doll, they'll be 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."
"Children naturally reveal a lot about themselves when they play."