The Mattel corporation has introduced the Hello Barbie ™ interactive doll that not only talks, it listens. And records your kid’s conversation with her. And connects to Wi-Fi so her recordings can be analyzed by the ToyTalk ™ voice-recognition software, and the information shared with parents or … who knows. What could possibly go wrong?
Plenty, say Matt Jakubowski of LookingGlass Cyber Solutions and Andrew Browne of Lavasoft’s malware lab. Like Wi-Fi baby monitors, the dolls can be hacked by 3rd parties, and we’re not talking about Barbie’s Princess Tea Parties here, but persons of bad intent. ToyTalk says that’s not so, that Barbie’s software cannot be hacked. Frankly, we will reserve judgement until we can ask Hello Barbie ™ about this in person.
“Hackers can hijack Wi-Fi Hello Barbie to spy on your children,” Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian
“Security expert raises big concerns about Wi-Fi-enabled Hello Barbie,” Hope Reese, Tech Republic
“Barbie Wants to Get to Know Your Child,” James Vlahos, New York Times Magazine
“When children are breached—inside the massive VTech hack,” Troy Hunt, Ars Technica
“Santa Claus and the Surveillance State,” Adrienne LaFrance, The Atlantic
“Hackable ‘Hello Barbie’ the Worst Toy of the Year (and Maybe Ever),” Abby Haglage, Daily Beast
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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
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