This Talking Barbie Doll Can Listen To You… And Share What You Say With Third Parties

Since some imaginative cave child made the first doll out of a dead marmot, kids have been talking to their make-believe pals. And for more than a century, some of these dolls have been talking back. But the newest generation of Mattel Barbie dolls may take things to the next level by not only listening to what you have to say, but by sharing your conversations with complete strangers.

This is according to the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, who point out that the privacy policy for ToyTalk, who provides the voice technology for Hello Barbie states that:

“We may use, store, process and transcribe Recordings in order to provide and maintain the Service, to perform, test or improve speech recognition technology and artificial intelligence algorithms, or for other research and development and data analysis purposes.”

Hello Barbie has not yet been released and it’s possible that the privacy policy could be updated before then.

ToyTalk says that using the doll will likely require parents to create an account and choose whether or not to share the data. The question remains: will parents have to actively opt in, or do they have to go through a process to opt out?

The CEO of ToyTalk is attempting to downplay concerns about the data collection, telling the Washington Post that, “The data is never used for anything to do with marketing or publicity or any of that stuff.”

For its part, Mattel is only saying the company is “committed to safety and security, and Hello Barbie conforms to applicable government standards.”

You can feel the passion for bringing kids’ dreams to life, can’t you?

[via The Verge]

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