Technical data

Ouch! 10 tech gadgets that play with your privacy quickly and freely


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As more and more data breaches occur, the emphasis is once again on the privacy and protection of your personal information. There are steps you can take to keep your data secure, but a surprisingly large number of devices don’t give you the opportunity to do so.

Unless you go through the tech specs and diagrams, you really have no way of making sure your virtual assistant isn’t listening or the kid’s toy’s microphone isn’t recording all the time.

Do not worry. We are here to help you. Keep reading to see 10 tech gadgets that pose serious privacy risks.

Here is the backstory

Because it’s hard for consumers to know what’s spying on them electronically, the Mozilla Foundation created the website * privacy not included. The objective is to guide consumers in their purchases of safe and secure connected objects.

The Foundation publishes an annual list highlighting the products that could be the most harmful to your privacy. For the rest of the year, the website covers several categories for visitors to browse. By clicking on a product, you will see the dangers involved, answers to common questions and a community ranking.

Here are some of the biggest offenders and how they put your privacy at risk.

1. Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi deadbolt

This Wi-Fi connected door lock allows you to authorize someone to access your home remotely.

  • The app tracks your location
  • Requires an email address to register
  • Collects your name, email address and phone number
  • Schlage may disclose your personal information to third parties for marketing purposes

2. SpotOn fence

SpotOn’s Fence is a GPS collar for your dog that zaps him with an electric pulse if he crosses the limit.

  • Tracks your dog’s location and, by default, your home address
  • Requires an email address to register
  • Collects your email address, phone number and name
  • Requires a third-party account to register
  • Access data from your mobile device

3. Atomi smart coffee maker

This device is a Wi-Fi connected coffee maker, allowing you to brew a cup from your bed.

  • The app tracks your location
  • The app has access to your phone’s camera and microphone
  • Requires an email address to register
  • Collecting voice recordings through Amazon
  • Could provide your data to third parties

4. Furbo dog camera with dog nanny

This device is an HD camera with two-way audio so that you can watch your four-legged boyfriend when you are not at home.

  • Can share your personal data with third parties
  • The app has access to your location, camera and microphone
  • Requires an email address to register
  • Collect your phone number and address

5. Amazon Halo

Amazon’s fitness bracelet is a display-less activity tracker and uses machine learning to help you understand yourself.

  • The app has access to your camera
  • The device has access to your microphone
  • It follows your position
  • Collects your name, email address and phone number
  • Collects your biometric information such as voice profile, body composition and menstrual cycle

6. Facebook portal

The social media giant’s portal is a smart display primarily used with Facebook to communicate with friends.

  • The device has access to your location, camera and microphone
  • A Facebook or WhatsApp account is required
  • Voice clips are recorded and sent to Facebook
  • Uses data for targeted advertising
  • May provide your data to third parties

7. Roku Streaming Sticks

Roku’s thinnest device lets you access streaming services on TVs that don’t have Wi-Fi capabilities.

  • The device and the app have access to your microphone
  • Follow your position
  • Collects your name, phone number, address and viewing habits
  • Roku shares your personal data with advertisers

8. Robot Dogness iPet

This device is a Wi-Fi connected toy with a built-in camera and microphone.

  • The app and devices have access to your camera and microphone
  • The app tracks your location
  • Requires email address and phone number to register
  • The company suffered a data breach last year

9.Huawei Honor Band 5

A popular fitness bracelet that tracks your vital signs like heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and sleep.

  • The app has access to your camera, microphone and location
  • Collects your name, email address and phone number
  • Track biometric data such as heart rate, movements, sleep data and menstrual cycle
  • Huawei has been charged with corporate espionage in the United States

10.Kobo e-readers

A popular e-book reader from the Canadian company Kobo, which is an alternative to Amazon’s Kindle.

  • Requires an email address to register
  • May provide your details to third parties
  • It may share your information with service providers, business partners or affiliates
  • Collects your name, email address, gender and date of birth

Keep reading

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