Mattel Introduces New “Big Brother” SmartToy – Digital Privacy and your Kids

Coming this summer 2017: An Echo for kids called Aristotle, made by Mattel. Call it a children’s smart assistant or  monitor or even a electro-nanny – It listens, it knows their little voices, answers their questions, helps with homework and soothes them to sleep – it even order diapers when you’re low. It’s designed to interact with children in all stages of development. As the child ages, it can correct their manners or teach them a new language.

Now remember, Mattel is the manufacturer – yes, the makers of Hello Barbie, the problematic toy we profiled here at Safertech last year, similar to this holiday’s spy toys that were fined by the FTC for privacy and security complaints.

Mattel clearly anticipated the consumer hesitance this time around:

After all, this is a system that logs your child’s behaviour and has object recognition AI designed to react when certain toys are played with. Mattel has attempted to address these concerns releasing an additional statement stressing, “Not only is the new Aristotle by nabi system COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) compliant, and utilizes 256-bit encryption to keep your video stream secure, but it is also HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) compliant. ~ New Atlas, Rich Hariday

Now, the info gathered will be cached locally and only accessed through nearby paired, authorized devices. However, those devices will also be working with numerous third-party developers (just like Hello Barbie, My Friend Cayla and I-Que Robot, repurposing that info for commercialization. It’s a tricky grey area for sure.

Hmmm.. privacy issues galore – don’t forget, just like Hello Barbie,  Aristotle uses Bluetooth and wifi…and that means lots of EMF exposure on their growing brains, especially putting SUCH a powerful tool right next to your baby’s crib? We just wouldn’t take the chance.

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