In July, Mattel will release Aristotle, a Wi-fi enabled “digital nanny.” Aristotle is an Amazon Echo-type listening and talking device with a camera. To work, it collects and stores data about a child’s activity and interactions with it. Because Aristotle connects to other apps and online retailers, that data may be shared with those partner corporations, which may use it for a wide variety of purposes—including targeting the marketing of other products to children and families.
Even limited use of Aristotle could pose a significant risk to children. As Marc Rotenberg, President of EPIC Privacy, says:
“Companies that offer Internet-connected toys are simply spying on young children. And they can’t even protect the data they secretly gather. They have already lost passwords and personal data and exposed families to ransomware demands. Toys that spy are unsafe for children.”
To take action on this issue, please join the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood in telling Mattel: Put the well-being of children, and the privacy of families, ahead of corporate profits. Don’t sell Aristotle.
Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) supports parents’ efforts to raise healthy families by limiting commercial access to children and ending the exploitive practice of child-targeted marketing. In working for the rights of children to grow up—and the freedom for parents to raise them—without being undermined by corporate interests, CCFC promotes a more democratic and sustainable world. Learn more at www.commercialfreechildhood.org.