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    Washington Post: Privacy rights activists worry about potential abuse of devices featured at CES

    The Washington Post reports on possible privacy questions surrounding new technology featured at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas:

    The thousands of devices debuting Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show here demonstrate how tech companies are poised to gather unprecedented insights into consumers’ lives — how much they eat, whether they exercise, when they are home and who they count as friends. […]

    Coming soon are Internet connected refrigerators, washing machines and other appliances that may be able to deliver information to third parties, such as utilities.

    All that has some tech experts and lawmakers concerned that consumers, in their rush to snap up the latest gadgets, may be sacrificing privacy.

    Tech companies say they won’t use personal data without permission from consumers. But some analysts say there aren’t many checks on these firms. […]

    Microsoft’s Kinect game console collects some biometric information that Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said on Monday is a potential springboard for health-care and other industries. […]

    While the companies argue that the data collection is harmless, some lawmakers want them to be upfront and specific about what is being collected.

    “There needs to be clarity around how and when that information is collected, stored or transmitted that takes into account a consumer’s right to privacy,” said Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who has introduced a privacy bill that would prevent tracking of children online without specific permission.

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