German Big Brother Awards To German Secret Service, Interior Minister, And Barbie 20/04/2015 by Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Mattel’s and Toytalks’ “Hello Barbie” Friday night received a Big Brother Award in Germany. The US doll found itself in illustrious company for the negative privacy award with two German Ministers of the Interior, a Minister of Health, several Amazon ventures and Elance-O-Desk. The Organization Digital Courage has handed out the awards since 2000. George Orwell pictured a scary enough Big Brother in his book “1984”, jury member Linus Neumann, from the hacker organisation Chaos Computer Club, said during the presentation of the Hello Barbie Award. But neither did he expect people to voluntarily pay for their panoptical telescreens, nor that Big Brother would come in the disguise of a Barbie doll. The Hello Barbie Doll is equipped with a microphone, speakers and a Wifi connection. The toy figure sends “conversations” between children and their Barbies to Toytalk, a cloud service specialised in child language recognition. Once stored and analysed the conversations could be used by later exchange. For concerned parents, Mattel would provide a daily or weekly digest of the “sorrows, dreams and secrets your child shares with her best friend, the server farm of Mattel and Toytalk.” Barbie is a test case to get children accustomed to this kind of data sharing. The Jury expects other “best friends” like Bob the Builder or Playmobil dolls. Mattel obviously was also aware that Hello Barbie could be in conflict with European Union data protection regimes: distribution is not planned for the EU market. Otherwise, Neumann said, Digital Courage certainly would be prepared to file a complaint. Yet another complaint Digital Courage is envisaging is against the new version of a German data retention legislation. After being judged unconstitutional by the German Federal Constitutional Court in 2010 and the European Court of Justice last year, the German Ministry of Justice last week presented a new proposal to have communication traffic data stored by providers. While the Justice Minister might have earned a nomination for next year’s Big Brother Award, according to experts, the award in the category of politics this year went to the Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maiziere, and his predecessor Hans-Peter Friedrich for “the basic and systematic sabotage” of finalising the planned EU Data Protection Regulation. The German Secret Service meanwhile received an award for feeding into the human rights violating system of mass surveillance by the NSA and its own mass surveillance activities – including the daily capture and analysis of 220 million telecommunication data sets. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Monika Ermert may be reached at email@example.com."German Big Brother Awards To German Secret Service, Interior Minister, And Barbie" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.