“Hello Barbie”, a New Doll With Big Brother-ish Capabilities


Hello Barbie will be available in stores right in time for the holidays. A campaign entitled “Hell No Barbie” however seeks to inform consumers that this doll has the potential to severely violate their privacy.

In an attempt to revitalize its Barbie brand, Mattel will soon launch Hello Barbie, a Wi-Fi-connected doll with artificial intelligence. The doll “talks” to children by recording what they say and responding accordingly. All of the children’s interactions with the doll are recorded using a microphone and are sent to a remote server through Wi-Fi. The recorded voices are then interpreted by an algorithm in order to generate an appropriate response. While some might find this innovation fun and interesting, others see in this toy a big-brotherish nightmare: It is programmed to ask personal questions to little girls, record their answers (and everything else the mic picks up) and then transmits the information to a remote location.

Even the promotional video found on the Hello Barbie website (which is meant to sell the doll) cannot help but going into creepy territory as it enumerates the numerous steps required to activate the doll : Downloading an app on a smartphone, creating an account using an e-mail address, connecting the doll to the home’s Wi-Fi network, etc. In short, well-meaning parents are actually taken through the steps required to turn this toy into a highly effective spy device that can pinpoint, with exact accuracy, who said what, at what time and where to then store all of that information on remote databases.

Hello Barbie makes conversation using voice recognition technology.

When her microphone is turned on, the doll records its playmate’s voice. The child’s dialogue then travels over the internet to a server, which interprets it so Barbie can give a tailored, pre-recorded response. It’s similar to the way Apple’s interactive Siri works.

“Hello Barbie can interact uniquely with each child … sharing stories and even telling jokes!” explains the toymaker Mattel in an online ad.

Golin and his co-campaigners worry about hackers infiltrating children’s dialogue, which will be stored on a server. They also dislike that the recorded conversations will be monitored at times to improve the system.

“Having people listen to recordings [of children] talking intimately to a doll raises a whole host of questions,” said Golin.

A big concern is that information gleaned from conversations might be used for marketing purposes.

“Clearly this is going to be a trove of valuable information when you have a child talking perhaps for hours with a doll,” said Golin.

He also worries that Hello Barbie could be programmed to push products. “Mattel may be cutting deals for what products the doll is talking about,” he said.
– CBC, ‘Hell No Barbie’ campaign targets Hello Barbie over privacy concerns

Although Mattel guarantees that it won’t use the information collected for commercial purposes (to push other Mattel products), it is not guaranteeing full privacy neither. As I pointed out in my first article about Hello Barbie, the privacy policy of Toy Talk (the subdivision that handles Hello Barbie) states :

What Information Do We Share With Third Parties?

We will not share the personal information we collect through the Service with third parties, except as described in this Policy. For example, we may share personal information as follows:


when we believe in good faith that we are lawfully authorized or required to do so or that doing so is reasonably necessary or appropriate to (a) comply with any law or legal processes or respond to lawful requests or legal authorities, including responding to lawful subpoenas, warrants, or court orders;

The above provision is quite open-ended and dangerous as the information recorded by the doll could be sent to authorities, governments and other entities – if “required to”.

Hell No Barbie

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) plans to launch a “Hell No Barbie” campaign on social media and its website, warning parents and children to keep their distance from the doll.

“This is kind of the perfect storm of a bad toy,” said Josh Golin, the group’s executive director.

His organization argues the Wi-Fi connected doll — which is equipped with a tiny microphone — could act as a double agent, passing on personal information shared by your child for marketing research or nefarious purposes.

Some parents are also suspicious of the toy. “Hello Barbie is pretty creepy and it would not be welcome in our house,” said Windsor, Ont., parent Mindy Terrington.


Golin and his co-campaigners worry about hackers infiltrating children’s dialogue, which will be stored on a server. They also dislike that the recorded conversations will be monitored at times to improve the system.

“Having people listen to recordings [of children] talking intimately to a doll raises a whole host of questions,” said Golin.

A big concern is that information gleaned from conversations might be used for marketing purposes.

“Clearly this is going to be a trove of valuable information when you have a child talking perhaps for hours with a doll,” said Golin.
– Ibid.

Considering the fact that the NSA actively spies on nearly 100% of citizen communications, isn’t it obvious that the information collected by this doll could easily end up in the same databases?

If you value your privacy and do not want your children to be monitored by faceless entities, you definitely need to say Hell No Barbie.

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62 Comments on "“Hello Barbie”, a New Doll With Big Brother-ish Capabilities"

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sorry everyone but this is really no different than your iPhone, which someone can turn into a remote listening device at any time, and even see you through your camera. this is still super creepy though.

They made another one? Not surprised that stuff like that would sell well. Most parents are lazy and need something to keep their kids quit.
Also noticed how easy people are fooled. Most people would not want to have cameras installed in their house, but if the cameras are designed like something cute or cool and with some "amazing" commercial of "how awesome" it is to have it, you will be surprised how many people would buy it. We have seen it with Jibo, Ulo, Video game consoles and those Barbies.
No matter how "cute" or "cool" it looks like, I'm not going to bring stuff like that home.

This just adds to the trans-humanism agenda that VC has been mentioning for years and it also reminds me of the new Samsung TV's (I think it's Samsung) that can record your conversations even while its turned off and sends the data off…….Where it gets sent to?….God only knows.

"We will not share the personal information we collect through the service" "we may share personal information as follows…"

I've looked for comments online, what people thought about it & thank God most people were negative towards the idea & find the doll creepy. So that's a good thing, for once the masses aren't brainwashed.

Even the article missed this: the wording says "…if lawfully authorized, or…" "Lawfully authorized"… to share with a third party? Of course Mattel is 'lawfully authorized' to do that — with anyone. You agreed by use the wifi doll, and that agreement gives them full right. The laws *do not* currently say that personal information cannot be used for advertising and 'affiliates' (once consent is given)…. so there is no protection of privacy here.

I've said this here before but it bears repeating, Barbie is based on a German prostitute doll called Bild Lilli originally sold in men's novelty shops in Germany in the 50s and 60s.

The Barbie industrial complex already messes with girls' body image, now it wants to mess with their minds and feelings, too.

I got a bad feeling that this is just the beginning of what's to come. Remember the last Bilderberg meeting? One of the topics there was Artificial Intelligence. I see A.I. popping up everywhere now. The next year they will really be pushing this. The movie A.I. becoming real right now!!

Also at the Bilderburg 2014 meeting, on the agenda, "Does Privacy Exist?"

I wonder what results came out of it 🙂

I used to talk to my dolls and probably told them things I wanted to keep secret – they were my 'best' friends as I was an only child in a bad family situation. would not want those things recorded

that is strange , now your feelings would be recorded and known to authorities.

Excellent technique start with children and when they grow up they wont object because they would be used to it.

Hey girls, don't tell Barbie your parents have guns in the house.

I seriously wouldnt want my oldest niece having something like this.If she did I'd sell it on ebay in a heartbeat!
It's terrible how this world is coming to things like this when little girls talk to dolls instead of family or friends.My biggest fear is little girls are going to talk about their problems to these dolls instead of their parents and "THEY" hear these problems and make new toys for them!I remember a commercial about a diary you can talk to instead of writing your thoughts down yourself and im afraid the toys are going to be just like that in the future.Also its conditioning these kids to be even more anti social than ever!

Why would anyone buy this???

Pretty creepy because you never know what other hidden technology the doll might have…. motion sensor, hidden camera, fingerprint scanning, etc. Nope… no thanks. Seems like a girl version of a chucky doll to me. too creepy, potentially dangerous & invasive….

This doll needs a good soak in a water bucket, only then can any kid play with it … in a house with no wifi and pre-paid flip-phones. Yes, I am feeling generous…

If you don't want the NSA to be listening in on your conversations then you have to put your phone in the fridge. Not turn it off. Put it in the fridge. They are always capable of recording you, even when turned off.

or in a laundry room while washing machines are on…

Just take the battery off, and put it back when you need use it.
The cellphone without battery can't connect to the cell towers so they can't triangulate your position

NSA aside, this sets off my p*******e alarm.

I agree the fact that a statement was made in regards to speaking to a doll intimately I instantly thought of a creepy old man or woman listening to children making it a sick situation

Sick Psychopats with no emphaty nor humanity left are running this insane planet. Entirley consumed by pride, wickedness, ego and greed which makes them projecting their own darkness and bad intentions into others. Their subconcious fear (=ego) must be borderless which is why they desperately are in need to dominate, control and manipulate everyone and everything. Makes you wonder what it is what ultimatively causes their fear.

This is crazy we're never safe anywhere even in our own house. It's even scarier that it's marketed to such young people. #sick

Gross. Only utterly stupid parents would buy this. Sorry, but it's true. Technology could be (and is) so incredible for so many things but the spying on everyone, including children, is evil and depressing. I don't have kids but it must genuinely be difficult to raise them in this culture of iPhones, tablets, Facebook, Netflix, etc. All of these electronics, social media, etc. have really taken over. (sighs)

Very, Very Creepy!

Any educated parent will not purchase this…thing – for lack of a better word.
With tons of stories about how baby monitors over wi-fi networks have been hacked by creeps and scaring little babies/children, what makes people think it wont happen over and over again with this doll.
I have faith there aren't as many idiots out there as some may think when it comes to protecting our children.

Sorry, but there will be a LOT of parents who will buy this, no matter what their level of education is. So many of them are stuck in a "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality, wherein they have to have the latest status symbol for themselves or their kids, whether it be the latest smartphone, gadget or fashion label. They think it's "cute" to let their daughters wear these skimpy, flashy outfits, (Dazzey dukes and leopard print top on a 5 yr old!) and sing and dance around to the hoochie songs that play on the radio, (Including crotch thrusts and slapping their own booties) And they buy their sons clothes, backpacks and lunch bags, even skateboards covered in symbols of death and satanism. They are so brainwashed with this twisted culture, they don't even realize how effed up they are, or that they are putting their children at risk… Read more »

Everybody vaccinates (poisons) there children, don't they?

What??!! That's very scary and sick

It seems to me that Our children are going to be brought up by robots in the future.it reminds me of Ray Bradbury ' s science fiction books.How awful !!!

Another way of monitoring us…I loath toys like this. Let's get back to hand made toys and go out with our children.

Um…no. just no.

What disturbs me more about this doll is not the fact that strangers can listen in to the conversations, but how toys like this are replacing life and real communications with humans. Children should be talking with their parents/siblings/friends for long periods of time, not a doll. Remember the GIGA pet? Instead of having a real pet, kids played with an artificial one. While this seems innocent and fun, think about what these items are really doing to our society. We are literally replacing LIFE. We have become a culture which celebrates death and abhors new life. Think of how people react to large families, or even when someone has a few kids. There's always the jokes about birth control and abortion.

You should be worried for both reasons: for starngers listening to the conversations and for technology replacing the real human interaction.

A stranger can hack into this system (we know how inadequately companies secure things on the cheap) and have hours long conversations with your child, in Barbie's voice. They can feed back odd responses that can confuse the child.

Having strangers bypassing parental supervision to intimately interact with the child, herself, is creepy beyond belief. I can not believe this product was approved.

I hadn't thought about a stranger hacking Barbie and talking to my kid… So creepy not cool at all :((

The NSA has Siri or some other variant on every smart phone now they need to get it on the kids too

Sometimes I think, " this could be The mark of the beast, ya know. eve takes a bite of the Apple." Hahaha.

Very true. 🙁

When I was young, I had toys too, and eventually a TV, computer, cell phone, etc… but they weren't everything to me and I remember being happiest when I was outside, riding my bike, and actually playing and spending time with my friends. I'm sorry that kids don't always seem to have that since they are more immersed in the most popular apps more than life.

True! They don't know what they're missing (playing outside). That's really sad.

"People don't really talk anymore. They just repeat what they see on TV/radio or the Internet. When was the last time you had a REAL conversation without someone texting or looking at a screen while talking?"

I do on a daily basis. I tend to not associate with people who stare at screens, if I am not important enough to actually look at me when you're talking I am talking, seeya!

I only really have that problem with teenagers who have an unstable home life. Those who do not have an unstable home life do not seem to be as affected by technology, at least from what I have seen. People essentially, including children, use it to escape from stress, in the same way a drug addict uses drugs to escape reality.

We have become a culture of escapism, which is of course promoted by the people making the escapist fare. Go to a 3rd World Country, they talk and think quite a bit differently.

I had a friend ask me how my husband was doing as he just had some back surgery done. All the while she continues to text on her cell. So I replied and stopped mid sentence and she said that she was listening to me but she just HAS to finish with her text. But I said, "no go ahead finish your text." (Sincerely I am unable to talk to a person who is hunched over on her cellphone) My friend was so angry that I did not understand that she HAD to sent a text while having a "conversation" with me, she just completed stopped returning any of my phone calls.
I'm sure a talking Barbie machine, Twitter, Facebook, texts, What's up etc will be "beneficial" to the development of children having a real live, in depth conversation with a fellow human being.

That's funny because if her man kept texting while she was trying to have a convo with him she would be so pissed she probably wouldn't talk to him for the rest of the night. Your friend is a dumb selfish brat.

my company was looking for NCAR SF 2-T yesterday and was informed of a business that has a lot of sample forms . If you need to fill out NCAR SF 2-T as well , here’s a http://goo.gl/Ibh8YE.

a cellphone for little girls

I'm going to point out that the notice about telling authorities is also mentioned in the paperwork you fill out when starting to seek help from a psychologist/psychiatrist…..for example, if you start making serious threats to yourself or others, they tell the police. This is literally standard stuff.

It's the exact same software as Amazon's "ECHO". But really, you've all sold out to the oligarchy in power. you all worship the state. have your toys and your games… you won't very much longer.

Hello Barbie uses Speech Recognition. It turns your speech into text. Now ToyTalk even with their bloated Venture Capitalist funding of $30 million needs to use a BIG company as Speech Recognition is complex. Guess who they use for Speech Recognition – MICROSOFT. Yes, folks all those words your darling little one says goes to Microsoft. Every word is recorded by Microsoft of which ToyTalk/Mattel has ABSOLUTELY NO control over. It becomes the property of MICROSOFT. Every conversation. Believe me whatever crap Toytalk/Mattel says this is a PURE business venture, they would sell your childs soul for a buck if they could, they lie when they say they control data because they are using MICROSOFT! do not trust these people. Mattel is desperate profits drop of 60% last year. They will do ANYTHING to make money.

This is not new. Two days ago I discovered the existence of a Sega Dreamcast game (we're speaking early 2000's here) called SEAMAN.

It did exactly the same thing and it also attempted to confuse the player over what is real or not, claiming that perception equals reality, and thus a confused mistaken perception IS reality anyway. Pure relativism.

It is puzzling why such a game would be made. Looks like a social experiment! You can find about this game on youtube, Angry Videogame Nerd for example. This doll does practically the exact same thing.

Incredible, interesting and creepy.

This whole scenario reminds me of a scene from one of the Harry Potter books. Mrs. Weaver makes a comment about a talking diary that got her daughter into a lot of trouble. To summarize:

Before conversing with a magical talking book, make sure you know to whom you're talking.

I myself would say “Hell No Barbie” as the “big guys” continue to snoop in on people’s privacy with rigged toys like this lousy doll. Its a pity that young innocent little girls are unaware about their privacy being invaded and recorded into those so-called “database” that has Big Brother’s fingerprints all over it, if their parents or guardians dare buy this intel-disguised toy.

Was Mattel bought out by the Umbrella Corporation?

Mattel needs to go to Hell on this one. This is very creepy.

The more times a wrong is allowed, the righter it becomes. Shame on Mattel.

“Clearly this is going to be a trove of valuable information when you have a child talking perhaps for hours with a doll,” said Golin.

For about two seconds, I thought the name was a form of "Gollum" and envisioned some slimy data server miner rasping "My Ppprrreccccioussss" on the other end.

Maybe I wasn't that far off…

@ sound

I thought the same thing when I saw the name too I thought Gollum…

lol and no, I don't think you are far off either! :o)

I think many parents will buy this. It's the perfect toy not only for children, but for parents too. Nowadays it is the norm to set the children in front of a TV to keep them entertained while mom and dad do the home chores. So why not giving the chance to have an interactive doll give a much better experience to the child? Sadly, we live in a technology era, and many parents are more concerned about their likes in FB and IG than what their children are doing. So on the one hand, kids will press parents to get the toy, and parents will buy it because they really don't care what their children play with as long as it keeps them busy and within the house, because all dangers are outside and not inside. Take my comment with a grain of salt. As for me, I am… Read more »

I agree!! I'm a young mom and when my child was a year old I literally deleted all my social media because it was such a distraction from real life! It's been 5 years now with it and it's amazing how down to earth it makes you. I would never buy a toy like this! Why do our children need anything with technology?! It's going to make our kids not able to imagine or be creative or individuals for that matter.

i once had a toy that spied on me…and when I did something bad it went straight to my mam and told her everything ((( I threw it away one day cause I just couldn't stand all the bullying and lies any more..i felt so betrayed…I thought it was my friend…

All dolls are creepy. they do not have to need voice, make-up. these girls are creepy! i had once, and i had 3 dreams, more like nightmare. she looked like a chucky but a girl version. rouge, small b*tch. furtunly i trow it to rubish after 3rd dreem!.

I used to be horrified of dolls to, especially Chucky!