If you are planning to purchase the new Hello Barbie for your kid or another beloved child, you had better reconsider. It seems that the innovation behind the release of the new Hello Barbie model is going to be a mixed blessing, according to the effects that will be triggered.
This doll will be Wi-Fi enabled, so that the children can have an actual conversation with their favorite Barbie. They will talk to her and she will talk back, based on the kids’ initial comments. But, how can somebody guarantee that there will be no foul use of this Wi-Fi connection?
Sadly, the answer to this question is not really optimistic. First of all, there is a direct violation of privacy regarding the invasion of the kids’ personal and private lives. If you consider the option of uploading the conversations of the children online, you get the wider picture!
Apart from that, there is the danger of somebody compromising the data that has been stored on the servers from ToyTalk. ToyTalk is the company that has been appointed with the storage of the data from the conversations. So, it is only fair that the compromise of such information and the change of the answers to the questions of the kids raise concerns.
Imagine having your kid talking about one thing and the doll answering something else, with the ultimate goal of manipulating the kid’s opinion. There are numerous foul answers, including shocking and even illegal comments that can be imprinted in the kid’s mind and subconscious. This is certainly a scenario resembling sci-fi movies and thrillers!
According to what Susan Hetherington from Queensland University of Technology has stated: “We might tell our teddy or our doll really personal stuff about our feelings and life and if somebody is hurting us or doing things that they shouldn’t do, that sort of information is also being shared.
So, you basically have a spy in your child’s bedroom who is listening to the little girl’s innermost thoughts. And I’m not sure that all parents are really giving a lot of consideration to that.”
With the acknowledgement that there is a substantial increase in the use of smart, automatic devices that are Wi-Fi enabled, the future is not as bright as it should be.
Even with the firm warnings as to the dangers related to the use of such devices, people are likely to go ahead with purchasing them and potentially putting their kids in danger. Let’s hope the fun behind the interaction of Hello Barbie will not be shadowed by the negative consequences lurking in the dark…!