BP 5

doll

Read article: “This Pretty Blond Doll Could Be Spying On Your Family” by Amanda Erickson via The Washington Post

A new American-made doll is able to have conversations with its owners because Bluetooth connects it to the Internet. It may look like any other doll but its capabilities allow it to record and transmit everything it hears to a voice recognition company in the U.S. Germany has banned the doll and urged owners to dispose of it and its internal microphone because it is a prime target for hackers who may use the doll to collect private information. The maker company has not yet responded.

Hypothetically speaking, because the company has not yet responded, I do not think the maker or other distributors should ignore it. The software company that makes the recording device stated that data is not shared with marketers or other customers. Though that wouldn’t be nice either, the main concern is what they cannot control, which is hackers. In this case the intentions of the maker are probably to make money and keep the product going.

If the maker’s intentions are simply to keep the product on the market, I do not think it is ethical. As discussed in class, some utilitarians claim that intentions are good or bad based on whether they are reasonably expected to yield good results. Perhaps the initial intention of the product was just for a tech savvy toy, and in the beginning that might not be morally wrong. However, the maker’s failure to respond to questions provides the inference that they do not care about customer’s safety, but simply keeping the product on the market.

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