The most dangerous products at CES in terms of security and privacy


LAS VEGAS — American shoppers, regulators, and companies have a problem: Tech products often hit the market with giant safety and privacy flaws.

CES, the huge annual consumer electronics event in Las Vegas, continues to bring a flood of new gadgets. Security and privacy experts believe it could be adding fuel to the flames.

Cindy Cohn is the executive director of Privacy Rights Organization the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The CES showroom will be open this week teeming with thousands of companiesMany gadgets, including smart TVs, smart TVs, and self-driving vehicles, rely on data from our homes or bodies. Many promote themselves as the next great thing — but almost none directly address how they handle customer data after it’s collected or their approach to safety and security.

The best (and weirdest) tech we found at CES 2023

“CES doesn’t seem to have a theme this year other than to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks,” Kyle Wiens said in a YouTube livestream. Wiens is the CEO at iFixit which advocates for consumers’ rights to have their devices repaired. “When this happens, it has negative externalities that can impact our society.”

Cohn teamed up with representatives from iFixit and Consumer Reports to create “The Worst of Show” during CES. They discussed which products could have the greatest negative impact on privacy, consumer choice and the environment. It featured some of the year’s most popular products, including the U-Scan urine sensor by connected healthcare company Withings. This analyzes hormone levels in urine, and is currently preparing for its US launch. Hormonal changes are likely after the Supreme Court overturned the right to abort in June and states banned abortions. evidence of a crime. Withings stated that it keeps the data indefinitely and will comply with all laws in the areas it operates if required by law enforcement. It denied that it shares the data with any third parties.

Cohn observed that media don’t ask for tough safety questions at CES, while companies don’t give out much information.

Literally, only one company was mentioned [privacy or safety]And, ironically, it was a sexting app,” Lena Miller said on the show floor. Miller claimed she works for a small company that makes reusable writing tablet and came to CES in order to see all the new products. Blyynd is a network for adults that uses encryption to promote safe sexting.

In a sideline interview at CES, Gene Easterly, director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Authority (CISA), stated that tech companies are more concerned with safety than testing products and building secure features.

She stated that these companies’ incentives “really focus upon cost, capacity and performance, not basic safety.”

Easterly and CrowdStrike CEO George Kurtz spoke at CES. They focused on the rapidly rising cost and risk of cybercrime. Products shipped in a hurryThey said. It was the first time that a cyber security officer of Easterly’s ranks had spoken at the show.

Buggy software in off-brand smart home devices is a playground for hackers

“When we think about the world we live in, we can’t accept that in ten years [cyber risks]During the conversation, she spoke.

This could be due to consumers demanding safer products and regulated government programs. Easterly however stated that she doesn’t support excessive regulation. Regulations could be in the form of tighter privacy safeguards and clearer communication with consumers about product risks. The White House supported the idea of ​​a “software bill of materials” similar to a nutrition label telling buyers what software components a product contains.

Meta was fined by the European Union this week for burying targeted advertising information in terms-of-service rather than eliciting consent from users and giving them an option to opt out. Meta said that she will appeal the ruling and the imposed fines. The European Union is also looking into the safety of facial recognition technology.

CES also saw a slew of companies promoting facial recognition technology on the show floor. Miku, a robotic robot powered by Disney He claims to keep the kids involvedIt can recognize facial expressions and use its camera to map the elements of your house. According to the company’s website, it also has facial recognition. According to the CEO, all facial recognition data stored on the device is not stored in the cloud.

Then, there are Smart home devices with a cameraA standalone Landroid Vision mower that moves around your yard. WORX, the maker of the mower, stated that all photos it takes are anonymized. Any faces or house numbers are blurred before they are sent to the company’s cloud storage. Its privacy policy allows for data sharing to advertise.

Companies have the option to make products that are special, useful, and repairable. Wiens from iFixit spoke during the Worst in Show announcement. But what’s the point of a $200 travel mug that has location-sharing capabilities and an essential battery?

He said, “We already own a thermos.” “They are tremendously successful. They have been around for a very long time.”

Jimmy Kaplan, vice-president of communications for CES Consumer Technology Association, (CTA), stated that the show encouraged innovation and entrepreneurship as well as economic growth. The CTA hosted 3,200 exhibitors this year.

It stated that CES requires exhibits to comply with US law.

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