Is your Christmas present spying on you? How to assess gifts’ privacy risks


The privacy issues raised by smart devices range from the annoyance of targeted ads shadowing you around the Web to the physical threat of someone stalking you with the help of a poorly designed Bluetooth tagger. — Mockup psd created by freepik - www.freepik.com

Buying a holiday gift is a bit of a gamble, and not just because it may be ill-fitting or unwanted. Thanks to the advent of interconnected, “smart” products and services, your gift may pose a threat to a friend or loved one’s privacy.

Interactive toys and gadgets often collect a boatload of data about their users and their surroundings. Device manufacturers may convert the information into dollars by selling it to advertisers or data brokers. And even manufacturers that pledge never to share what they collect can’t guarantee that hackers won’t grab the data anyway.

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