This New Barbie Can Have Conversations With Kids, Leaving Parents Freaked Out

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There’s a new Barbie in town and everyone already hates her.

“Hello Barbie” is a doll that actually has the ability to talk to your child. Apparently, she’s the first Internet-connected doll that can carry a real conversation with kids and parents are none too happy about it. The conversations are recorded and sent via wifi to a cloud to help with Barbie’s computer-generated responses.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), a group opposed to marketing aimed at children, launched the campaign to discourage parents from buying Hello Barbie.

Here’s a little bit from NBC News:

Mattel and ToyTalk promise there will not be any advertising content in what Barbie says and that the recorded conversations will not be used to advertise to children. Both companies stress that parental consent is required to activate the doll’s connectivity and recording capability.

“We are extremely concerned with the privacy, security and safety of the kids’ data,” said Martin Reddy, ToyTalk’s Chief Technical Officer “We don’t share any of those (audio) clips with Mattel and we certainly don’t use any of that content to advertise or market to kids. In fact, we would be breaking the law if we did that, so we won’t do that.”

Yikes. Luckily, my daughter has outgrown her Barbie stage (she is hardcore into My Little Pony and Shopkins right now), but I can see how this doll has parents freaking out. But then again this does take role-playing to a whole new level.

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Joanna

Joanna has been following the world of entertainment and celebrities since ’05, having served as the Editor-in-Chief of Celebrity News Service and as a personal assistant for one of the original James Bond screenwriters, producer Kevin McClory during her days in Ireland. These days she’s a mother, warrior, celebrity writer and Disney dreamer. And she eats a lot of peanut butter M&Ms, as well.

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