Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hi! I'm Rat Fink Barbie!

The world is getting creepier and creepier.

Here's a new version of Barbie that interacts with children. "The tech-enhanced version of the classic toy will be equipped with a microphone so that it can pick up the audio from what kids are saying. The words will then be transmitted back to a cloud server where the speech will be recorded and processed so Barbie can respond."

So let me get this straight. Parents are introducing a doll into their home that records conversations. These conversations are then transmitted to a cloud server and the recorded speech is then "processed" so Barbie can respond.

It goes without saying these recordings won't be limited to childish prattle. And how will Barbie respond if the recorded conversation involves, say, personal financial matters? Relationship issues within the family? (After all, who knows what Barbie considers child abuse.) What about political conversations? Parental arguments? Parental intimacy, for that matter?

And what happens when Mattel's archived conversations are subpoenaed by the courts for whatever might have been said in the privacy of one's own home?

As one commenter put it: "Introducing the new... NSA Barbie!!! Tell her your family’s deepest and darkest secrets to Barbie and she will listen... 'Does your daddy own guns? Do your parents vote republican? Do they eat meat or hunt?'"

Another commenter referred to this as Rat Fink Barbie, which is vastly more apt.

The scope of potential abuse of this new toy boggles the mind. Only a stupid fool would have one of these dolls in their homes.


  1. Reminds me of the video Barbie that came out a while ago. If they were fools enough to buy those they'll be fool enough to buy this.

  2. "...Only a stupid fool would have one of these dolls in their homes."

    True enough, Patrice, but sadly, these dolls will probably fly off the shelves - hey, maybe that's the next generation doll. It can fly over to your neighbors house and listen to what they are saying, too! Then Barbie and the kids can have a real interesting conversation.

  3. I remember reading a scifi story at least 30 years ago about this, only it was a teddy bear and not a Barbie. It was creepy then, and now it is... HERE.

  4. A "Spy on You" Barbie?
    Who in their right mind would buy such a thing? This sounds like people are not putting out enough personal information on Face Book. This is even creepier than Divorced Barbie.(Divorced Barbie came with all of Kens stuff)

  5. Oh man. Where to start on this. On top of all the things already mentioned, I see these problems...

    1. Making it easier for pedophiles to find victims.

    2. Making it easier for identity thieves to find victims.

    3. Making it easy for burglaries, home break-ins and spiteful stalking to occur by "telling" Barbie who has money and things worth stealing and where those things and people are.

    4. Making it easy to buy and sell drugs by creating a clandestine form of "coded" communication.

    5. Making it easier for violent illegals to find "safe" houses through coded communications.

    6. Making it easier to victimize children by making them unwitting pawns in nefarious activities.

    7. Making it easier for criminal fugitives to evade capture by the use of "coded" messages.

    8. And Liberals...get this one ---- making it WAY easier to traffic guns and arms.

    That's just in the first 5 minutes of thinking about this. Gimme another 10 minutes...

    Just Me

  6. Anything that has a microphone and/or camera is suspect. Anything that "connects", can connect to places that you'd rather not connect.
    You might consider leaving your cell phone in the car when you want privacy. Oh, and your car? If it is reasonably new? Fugettaboutit! That built-in speakerphone with OnStar, (or whatever the other vendors call it) can eavesdrop.
    Off Grid is starting to take on other meanings.....

  7. sixteen years ago, there were security concerns regarding the Furby, because it 'might' record you. Those things had no connectivity. Nowadays, your phone, computer, tv and car can record you, and they are connected.


  8. How would you ever know the microphone is off or not?

  9. I doubt we have to worry,,,she won't survive the bath tub , where every naked Barbie in America lives out her life !!

  10. You know with like someone commented people's postings on FB (gods why do you need a "selfie" with all your crap if you want to keep it to yourself?) This just is going to put more info about people out there for everyone else to hear at the leisure of "THEM". One no one commented on is what if this new recording Barbie gets taken into a mall where a passerby is arguing with -their- significant other? Also if we can come up with all these bad things it could do.. what are the makers thinking of?

  11. That's not a toy doll, it's an illegal wiretap.

  12. Who knows how many "chips" and other electronic devices have been installed in new cars, televisions, computers and other devices without our knowlege or consent. Maybe you can trust your Mama but pretty well nobody else. Remember, just because you're paranoid don't mean they're not out to get you anyway.


  13. For the life of me, I cannot understand why anybody would buy a thing like this. What do you need a stupid robot doll FOR? Isn't the idea that you use your own imagination and make up the whole conversation, by yourself or with a friend? Do these people want to killl their children's imagination? Apart from the spy issues that have been pointed out in the other comments.
    I sincerely do not think there is any sort of big governmental conspiracy going on now, but in a pinch what government wouldn't gladly use access to people's homes via rat fink barbie?