Hello Barbie spying on your children

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 14, 2015

Children love to talk to their toys while they play with them, but one new toy is touting the ability to respond with pseudo intelligence.

This isn’t just the canned responses children used to receive from toys of my generation, like Teddy Ruxpin.

Instead of a cassette tape, Hello Barbie uses the power of the Internet to recognize what a child said, and form a coherent response.

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Sounds pretty neat, right?

Not to some parents, especially those who started up the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood.

Their concern is that what their child is saying is being saved on a server, which creates a major concern about security.

Here’s the kicker. Not only are these parents boycotting the doll, but they have started a petition to have the doll removed from the market.

I can understand their concern, and there’s a reason to be cautious about such a toy.

However, the company is being up front about the doll’s features and how they work.

Mattel has alerted parents that they are not going to store any personal information and won’t use what is stored in a nefarious manner.

While I agree the features of the toy pose a potential security risk, informed consumers should be allowed to think for themselves.

If they have reservations about the toy, they can choose to simply not buy it.

By refusing to buy a toy that causes concern, parents send a stronger message than any petition can convey.

Our society has begun to rely too heavily on regulation instead of intelligence.

By stifling creativity we hinder the forward progress mankind has accomplished, especially in the last 100 years as technology has advanced at an astounding rate. There is cause for concern, however. Anyone ever see the movie Terminator?