Security Concerns For Internet-Connected Toys

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A child plays with a toy. (Daniel Cheung/UnSplash)
A child plays with a toy. (Daniel Cheung/UnSplash)

This fall, Mattel is set to release the 21st century version of Barbie's Dream House -- a fully-connected smart home.

The lights and appliances will activate automatically when Barbie is placed in different rooms and children can talk to the house to issue commands. The toy may be a dream for digitally-savvy kids but it's also a new frontier for those focused on protecting children's privacy.

The rise of connected toys is ushering in a new era of privacy concerns. The Dream House uses the same technology behind Hello Barbie, released last year. That toy was criticized for being able to potentially record children who talked to the doll.

We hear two perspectives on the reality behind connected toys and what to expect.


Tod Beardsley, senior security research manager at Rapid7. He tweets @todb.

Josh Golin, executive director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which tweets @ccfc.

This segment aired on August 23, 2016.


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Deborah Becker Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.


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Alison Bruzek Associate Producer, Radio Boston
Alison Bruzek was a producer for Radio Boston.



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