With companies like Amazon showing that there is a demand for smart speakers, it did not come as a surprise to see other companies follow suit. In fact earlier this year Mattel announced that they would be launching a smart speaker of their own aimed at kids, but a report from the Washington Post has revealed that the device has since been cancelled.
For those who are learning about this for the first time, the device in question was known as Aristotle and was created with kids in mind. However it seems that children’s health and privacy advocates petitioned that the company not launch it due to concerns about the privacy of children. It also drew the attention of Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) who reached out to the toy company to ask how they plan on storing and protecting the data it collects from its users.
Ultimately the company decided that they would not be releasing the product to the market. According to Mattel, they decided “not to bring Aristotle to the marketplace as part of an ongoing effort to deliver the best possible connected product experience to the consumer.” This is actually not the first time “smart” toys have raised some privacy concerns, like in Germany where the country banned a children’s doll over similar concerns.