Will the ‘internet of things’ help or hinder?

A detailed and “deeply personal” portrait of consumers could leave us vulnerable to data attack in an increasingly smart gadget future, warns the chair of the US Federal Trade Commission.

Edith Ramirez made the cautionary comments at the recent CES conference, urging tech firms to gather only the minimum amount of data required to fulfil their function.

Ramirez said that a that the growing internet of things drive – which will populate every crevice of our lives with sophisticated sensors – could easily build up a “deeply personal and startlingly complete picture” of users.

Data concerning our credit history, health, friends and other personal data could be more vulnerable to theft.

“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.

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