From the “Definitely Worse Than We Thought” department; right next to the “I TOLD you I wasn’t paranoid!!” department…
I’ve bolded some bits:
Security expert raises big concerns about Wi-Fi-enabled Hello Barbie
The new Hello Barbie is able to have a ‘conversation’ with children using speech-recognition software and Wi-Fi. But what’s happening with all the recorded data?
By Hope Reese | November 13, 2015, 6:30 AM PST
This week, Mattel released Hello Barbie, a Wi-Fi-enabled doll that records and saves its conversations with children. The capacity for the doll to collect data begs questions about security, privacy, and potential misuse of information. TechRepublic spoke to Andrew Browne, Director of Lavasoft’s malware lab, about his concerns over Hello Barbie’s privacy settings.
Hello Barbie sends communications between children and Mattel’s control center. What are your thoughts on potential security issues here?
How exactly can the information gathered by Hello Barbie be monetized?
It’s a pretty blunt example, but there’s the scenario where a kid tells the doll their birthday is coming up, and Barbie starts talking about new, cool toys coming out. It’s not a stretch of the imagination that this will happen. The doll itself, and I find this quite creepy, is actually a recording device. It can also capture non child-doll conversations that are happening in the background.
What steps can adults take to protect privacy collected by Hello Barbie?
Once the information is on the recipient’s server, there’s not a whole lot that can be done. I’m not a psychologist, but I imagine that kids will talk to the toy like a real person, confide in her, and so on. The kid might give up information that is confidential. They say they’ll attempt to monitor for this and wipe from the system, but I don’t know that there’s anything to prevent it other than train the kid not to say anything private. But a five-year-old can’t comprehend that.
There’s a whole lot more in the article. Hit the link and then think about what you read.
Just what we need… a world full of spies disguised as dolls and listening to our children… Just remember that the Internet of Things acronym, IoT is only an id away from idIoT…