Consumer Reports: Gifts That Snoop? The Internet of Things is Wrapped in Privacy Concerns

December 19, 2017

Just about every electronic device now has some kind of internet connection. So it’s not a stretch to predict that the so-called “internet of things,” or IoT, will take up a significant amount of space on Santa’s sleigh this year.

These items include connected thermostats, smart speakers, web cameras, fitness trackers, and lots of kids’ toys. And their popularity keeps growing. The market research firm IDC projects that global consumer IoT spending will rise to $62 billion in 2018, representing a 21 percent jump from $51 billion in 2017.

But security experts warn that there’s little oversight of what data these products can collect—or how it’s traded to marketers and protected from hackers. Before you connect new devices to your home network, experts say it’s important to understand the trade-offs, and how to stay safe.

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