Are Children Losing Their Childhood to Smart Toys? | Hacked: Hacking Finance


Are Children Losing Their Childhood to Smart Toys?

Posted on .

Are Children Losing Their Childhood to Smart Toys?


This article was posted on Thursday, 16:10, UTC.

Smart toys are on the rise, but while they may have the ability to enhance a child’s play, do they also pose a threat by spying on what children are doing?

// -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace. Don't have an account? Send Jonas Borchgrevink an email -- //

In an article from the New Scientist, the issue of privacy is looked into. More specifically, the privacy of children.

Nowadays, it seems it’s no longer a case of simply playing with Ken and Barbie as the imagination of a child takes over. As the article reports, various companies have been looking into how they can capture the imagination of children. One play item, in particular, is the Barbie Hello Dreamhouse and Hello Barbie.

Created by the American toy-company Mattel, Inc., Barbie has been in existence since 1959. Designed by businesswoman Ruth Handler, Barbie has maintained its popularity with children up to the present day for nearly 60 years.

// -- Become a yearly Platinum Member and save 69 USD and get access to our secret group on Workplace. Click here to change your current membership -- //

But, in a bid to keep up with technological advances in the 21st century, Mattel, Inc., has created the Barbie Hello Dreamhouse, a pink-and-white smart house for the world’s most popular doll. Apparently, the Hello Barbie is reported to be able to talk to a child on a number of topics ranging – as the New Scientist states – ‘from fashion and family to dreams and paddleboarding.’

Nothing wrong with that, you might think.

Except for the fact that when a child presses Barbie’s buckle to talk to her, every word the child makes is then transmitted to a Mattel-owned server farm where it is analyzed so that a suitable reply can be sent back to the child.

Sending Details to Third Parties

Shockingly, the information that was being stored was also being sent on to third parties, which, naturally, ensued a backlash.

According to Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), who launched a social media campaign #HellNoBarbie, he said that:

It just struck us as such as invasion of children’s privacy.

Open to Hackers

Children, in their innocence, don’t realize that what they are telling their dolls may now be listened to by others. This can also include hackers.

Even though toys may seem above anything else, they can just as easily become a target for hackers too.

In 2015, Chinese company VTech was targeted by hackers. Reports stated that nearly five million parents and more than 200,000 children had their information stolen after a hacker breached the servers of the toy company.

As such privacy activists have objected not only because of the concern from others listening in or the vulnerability that toys can pose, but also because it can take away the nature of a child’s play.

Taking Away the Child’s Imagination

Of course, if you walk into someone’s house, the chances are that you will find a vast array of smart technology around. Consider digital assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Allo to name a few.

Toys, however, don’t need to be smart, do they?

After all, when it comes to child’s play that’s when a child learns how to figure out skills while playing out a fantasy world that only they see in their eyes. By playing with toys that are already preprogramed with answers seems to only hinder a child’s play rather than broaden it.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.

Feedback or Requests?

Rebecca Campbell

Rebecca Campbell

There are no comments.

View Comments (0) ...
The team:
Dmitriy Lavrov
Dmitriy Lavrov is a professional trader, technical analyst and money manager with 10 years of trading experience. He covers Forex, Commodities and Cryptocurrencies. He is among the top 10 most Read More
Jonas Borchgrevink
Jonas Borchgrevink is the founder of and He is a serial entrepreneur, trader and investor. He shares his own personal journey on // -- Discuss and ask Read More
Mate Csar
Trader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive Read More
Mati Greenspan
Senior Market Analyst at // -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace. Don't have an account? Send Jonas Borchgrevink an email -- // Important: Never invest Read More
Rakesh Upadhyay
Rakesh Upadhyay is a Technical Analyst and Portfolio Consultant for The Summit Group. He has more than a decade of experience as a private trader. His philosophy is to use Read More
Pamela Meropiali
Account Manager
Pamela Meropiali is responsible for users on // -- Discuss and ask questions in our community on Workplace. Don't have an account? Send Jonas Borchgrevink an email -- // Read More
Joseph Young
Joseph Young is a finance and tech journalist & analyst based in Hong Kong. He has worked with leading media and news agencies in the technology and finance industries, offering Read More
The Pirate Party of Iceland, founded in 2012 to champion…