Breakfast Briefing: Kids' toys hacked, UberPool arrives in London, Samsung replaces mobile boss

Hello Barbie: AI toy leaks data, according to security researcher
Hello Barbie: AI toy leaks data, according to security researcher

Welcome to Marketing's morning briefing, a daily shot of news and a recap of the best longer reads and videos. In today's news, Hello Barbie and other connected kids' toys turn out to be hackable, Uber launches car-sharing service UberPool in London and Samsung has another management switch-up.

Hello Barbie and connected toys hacked

Remember Hello Barbie? It's the first Barbie from Mattel which can talk back, with the ability to answer questions about anything from friendship to God. 

When Mattel first announced the AI doll (only available in the US for $80), children's privacy groups raised concerns about a connected toy that could record children's voices asking sensitive questions. 

Now researcher Matt Jakubowski has found hackers could pull out Wi-Fi network names (possibly giving away a child's location), account IDs and MP3 sound files.

ToyTalk, the company that provides the tech for Hello Barbie, said this data was already available to customers through the app.

Meanwhile, kids' electronics maker VTech admitted it had been hacked this week, with the breach affecting five million accounts, including those of children. Data lost includes email addresses, encrypted passwords, and physical addresses. VTech sells devices like child-safe smartphones and baby monitors. 

VTech said it had taken actions against future attacks.

Sources: Wired, Register

Uber launches cab-sharing in London

Uber has launched UberPool in the UK, offering 25% off cab rides if customers are willing to share with other people.

UberPool now appears as a new ride option on the Uber app. Customers can hail a cab as usual, but will be paired with other riders going in the same direction.

The launch is likely to heighten tensions between Uber and the black cab industry, further undercut by the new service.

Source: The Telegraph

Samsung replaces mobile chief amid profit fall

Samsung will replace the head of its mobile arm, with current chief Shin Jong-Kyun stepping down for Koh Dong-jin, currently head of mobile research and development.

Shin was responsible for the successful Galaxy smartphone series, but while Samsung still remains the biggest phone maker in terms of sales, profits have been falling.

Shin will remain a co-chief executive at  Samsung, but step back from day-to-day operations.

Source: Financial Times

In case you missed it...two longer reads

Read the key features from our November 2015 issue on postcapitalism

This month we looked at new economic models and how marketing fits into a future of potential postcapitalism. Read all our insights and news from the theme in one place.

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Lidl's marketing and advertising director, Arnd Pickhardt, scooped the Marketers' Marketer of the Year award after being voted in overwhelmingly by elite industry players in Marketing's Power 100.

If you watch one video today...

Rather than a video, this week we're pointing you towards our new podcast. Listen to the third episode below and find out more here.

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