“Hell No Barbie” campaign discourages use of talking doll

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There is a boycott against Barbie.

For years, the Barbie doll has been under fire for a variety of issues, including not portraying women realistically.

But now, the makers of Barbie are encountering a fresh wave of hostility.

The “Hell No Barbie” social media campaign contends Mattel’s new “Hello Barbie” threatens children’s privacy and creativity.

The high tech doll is able to carry on a conversation with a child by recording what the child says. It then sends the child’s words to “the cloud” for Barbie’s computer generated response.

The group is discouraging all parents from buying the doll.

Mattel would not talk to NBC News about the controversy. But in a statement, the toy company said privacy, security, and safety of children is a high priority.

“Mattel and its partners, such as ToyTalk, take a number of steps to ensure all of our products conform with applicable laws and standards, including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.”

Mattel also pointed out that parents are in control of what is stored in the Barbie and can, at any time, delete any recordings.

However, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Norwich University Dr. Jeremy Hansen said “There is no level of legal or technological ‘protection’ that you can apply to Hello Barbie’s recordings to keep them safe.”

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