First all-in-one, voice-controlled smart baby monitor could record and transmit sensitive information about child’s personal development

Washington (September 29, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Congressman Joe Barton (TX-06), co-founders of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, sent a letter to the toy company Mattel querying it about its recently-announced “Aristotle” device, a Wi-Fi enabled talking device with audio and visual monitoring that is expected to be located in a child’s bedroom from birth until adolescence. In their letter, the lawmakers ask Mattel what measures it will take to protect families’ privacy and secure their data. Specifically, Senator Markey and Rep. Barton request responses from the company about what technologies the device will utilize for monitoring, how information will be stored and safeguarded, what will be the process for obtaining parental consent, and how the device will be compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA).
“With a product as new and omnipotent as Mattel’s Aristotle, parents need to know how their children’s most sensitive information is being used and protected,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. “In the era of the Internet of Things and connected devices, we need to make sure our households aren’t worried about corporate ‘Big Brother’ but that Big Mother and Big Father have the tools they need to protect their children’s privacy.”
“In today's connected world, it is crucial we keep an eye on privacy and data security,” said Rep. Barton, senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. “That is the exact reason Senator Markey and I founded the Bipartisan Privacy Caucus over a decade ago. Our goal in the letter to Mattel is not to stifle innovation and product development, but to ensure that parents know how their child's data will be protected.”
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.