FTC Chair Warns Over Smart Gadgets Compromising Privacy

By Kamal Nayan - 06 Jan '15 23:45PM

Smart gadgets could be grabbing tons of our personal data, leading to compromised privacy, warns the chair of the US Federal Trade Commission has warned.

Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Edith Ramirez said the smart gadgets could grab a "deeply personal" picture of every customer as they watch what we do. She urged gadgets makers to gather minimum data needed to fulfill their function.

She expressed concerns on the over use of Internet of things that includes homes cars and bodies with devices that use sophisticated sensors to monitor people. These devices could draw pictures detailing about an individuals credit history, health, religious preferences, family, friends.

"Will this information be used to paint a picture of you that you won't see but that others will?" she asked.

Ramirez mentioned that the Internet of Things has the potential to improve health and boost economic growth, but it should not come at a cost of individual privacy.

"I question the notion that we must put sensitive consumer data at risk on the off-chance a company might someday discover a valuable use for the information," she said.

She underscored that any firm that did not respect its users' privacy, would loose the trust in the market.

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