Hello Barbie Accused of Privacy Violations

Hello Barbie Accused of Privacy Violations

December 28, 2015         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Following a report by The Daily Beast, class action law firm Keller Rohrback announced they are investigating Mattel’s interactive doll, Hello Barbie, for possible privacy violations.

Of particular concern is that Hello Barbie doll stores conversations between children and the doll on a cloud. Some worry that personal information from the doll could very easily be hacked. Such a data breach recently occurred at VTech, where personal information (including photographs) of 6.3 million adults and children was leaked.

Featured Fair Credit Card
Top Features :All credit types welcome to apply!

The doll uses technology similar to Apple Siri to have conversations with children.

Hello Barbie, which costs around $75 and comes pre-programmed with more than 8,000 recorded lines, was named one of the worst toys of the year by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, who described the doll as a threat to “children’s privacy, wellbeing, and creativity.”

Two California moms, Ashley Archer-Hayes and Charity Johnson, have filed a lawsuit against Mattel after their children were recorded by a friend’s Hello Barbie at a party. They are particularly critical of the fact that hackers could gain access to the toy and use it to converse with children. Their attorney, Michael Kelly, suggests these sorts of hacks are “easy.”

“It’s interactive, so if someone hacks into the server they could technically take over and ask questions like ‘Where do you live?’ or ‘Is anybody home?’” Kelly tells The Daily Beast. “You’re not dealing with competent adults, you’re dealing with vulnerable little kids.”

Mattel’s partner, ToyTalk, defended the toy to The Daily Beast. “Hello Barbie is certified as-COPPA compliant by kidSAFE, a children’s privacy certification program approved by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.”

Featured Fair Credit Card
Top Features :All credit types welcome to apply!

The information contained within this article was accurate as of December 28, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of LowCards.com and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
View all posts by Bill Hardekopf