Lawsuit Claims Barbie Doll Invades Kids’ Privacy

In a class action against Mattel, two mothers allege that the talking Hello Barbie doll invades children's privacy by recording their conversations and storing them in the cloud.

Courthouse News reports:

    Mattel says on its website that Hello Barbie complies with the privacy requirements under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). But Archer-Hayes and Johnson claim that kidSAFE, an independent company that certifies toys under COPPA, has not certified the doll or its software.
     Among other things, COPPA bans companies from collecting personal information from children unless they indicate what kind of information is collected and how it is used, and get parental consent to collect the information.
     "Personal information' includes the child's identifying contact information, geolocation, and voice captured in an audio file," the complaint states.
     Companies must allow customers to refuse data collection, make available any personal information they do collect, and protect the confidentiality of that information.
     But the plaintiff parents say Mattel does not protect the privacy of children who are recorded by a Hello Barbie doll that belongs to someone else.

The complaint alleges that Mattel and ToyTalk should have known that children would play with the doll with other kids, who would be recorded, and created a process to recognize when someone other than the owner uses the Hello Barbie doll and either delete those recordings or seek parental consent to store them in the cloud.

The full article is here.

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