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Warning over Data Stolen by Smart Gadgets

The chair of the US Federal Trade Commission has warned "a deeply personal" picture of every consumer could be grabbed by futuristic smart gadgets.

Speaking at the CES, Edith Ramirez said a future full of smart gadgets could pose a threat to privacy.

She said the data collated from these devices could then create a false impression if given to universities, employers or companies.

Ramirez has urged tech firms to make sure gadgets gathered the minimum data needed to fulfil their function.

She believes the internet of things, which will find its way into cars, homes and bodies with devices that used sophisticated sensors to monitor people, could easily build up a deeply personal and startlingly complete picture of a person's lifestyle.

She said the data picture would include details about an individual's credit history, health, religious preferences, family friends and a great deal of other indicators.

According to Ramirez, an individual's television preferences could be tracked and shared with other organisations in a way that could prove damaging.

Wondering if it would influence the types of services people were offered, what ads were shown or what assumptions firms made about their lifestyle, Ramirez said: "Will this information be used to paint a picture of you that you won't see but that others will?"

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