Alarm bells have gone off in the USA as the FBI sees a potential misuse for the new Barbie Video Girl doll. The doll has an inbuilt video camera hidden in the necklace worn around her neck, which allows video to be shot from ’Barbie’s perspective’.
The doll, which sells for US$49.99 also comes with a video screen in her back that can be connected via USB to a TV or computer and records up to 30 minutes of footage.
Although the doll has not been linked to any crimes as yet, the FBI is concerned that it could be used to produce child pornography; as a result their Sacramento office issued an internal alert about the possible dangers of the doll. However this alert was leaked to the media.
In a written statement, the FBI said that “the alert’s intent was to ensure law enforcement agencies were aware that the doll – like any other video-capable equipment – could contain evidence and to not disregard such as item during a search.”
Although popular with both girls and boys it is easy to see how the doll could be used by a predator to encourage young girls to unwittingly video themselves or, if positioned discreetly and left recording, could capture compromising images of young children.
Mattel, the producers of Barbie issued a statement confirming that child safety was a high priority for them, “Mattel products are designed with children and their best interests in mind,” they said. “Many of Mattel’s employees are parents themselves, and we understand the importance of child safety.”
Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha
Source: Herald Sun