Mattel’s talking Hello Barbie has come under scrutiny from a group of security experts, who found that the wi-fi enabled doll could be hacked.
The world’s first interactive Barbie was unveiled earlier this year, allowing children to talk to the iconic doll. The audio files are processed over the internet for Barbie to respond. The doll also remembers the user’s likes and dislikes.
See how Hello Barbie works above.
Security expert Matt Jakubowski told NBC that he has managed to hack the Hello Barbie system to extract wi-fi network names, account IDs and MP3 files, which could be used to track down someone’s home.
“You can take that information and find out a person’s house or business. It’s just a matter of time until we are able to replace their servers with ours and have her say anything we want,” he warned.
Owners of the doll have to press a button on Barbie’s belt to start a conversation, and recorded audio is encrypted before it’s sent.
Mattel partnered with ToyTalk to develop the technology. ToyTalk CEO Oren Jacob said: “An enthusiastic researcher has reported finding some device data and called that a hack.
“While the path that the researcher used to find that data is not obvious and not user-friendly, it is important to note that all that information was already directly available to Hello Barbie customers through the Hello Barbie Companion App. No user data, no Barbie content, and no major security or privacy protections have been compromised to our knowledge.”
A petition by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood asking Mattel to drop the doll has already been signed by over 6,000 people.
Would you let your children use an interactive doll like Hello Barbie? Share your opinion in the Comments section below.