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Report lists 'creepiest' tech gifts of 2020

Fitness tracker wants photo of you in underwear
Posted at 9:53 AM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 18:24:46-05

Looking for a tech gadget for that special someone this holiday season?

You might want to think carefully, given a new list of the "creepiest" holiday gifts for 2020.

Smart technology is all over our homes these days, from Amazon's Echo, to Ring video door bells, to smart thermostats and house lights.

But some gadgets are a little too invasive of our privacy, according to a new report from the Mozilla Foundation, called Privacy not Included.

Mozilla's Jen Caltrider asked, "What are you OK teaching your children? Is it OK for them to be tracked?"

Kiddie fitness trackers, smart kitchen for children

The nonprofit group best known for its Firefox web browser says high on its creepy list are fitness trackers for kids.

"Garmin and Fitbit make fitness trackers for kids as young as 4, which to me is kind of mind-blowing," Caltrider told WCPO.

Mozilla also has concerns with the Kidcraft Amazon 2-in-1 Kitchen, where Amazon can learn what your 3-year-old likes.

"It's just a little kitchen that you would get your kids to play with," she said.

"But it is designed to work with Amazon Alexa, and then Alexa kind of plays with your kid while he is playing with this kitchen."

In the past, toys might move or talk, thanks to some D batteries inside.

Toys that record videos of children

But these days, many are web-enabled, and include cameras, which upload video to the Cloud, and that raises privacy concerns.

Mozilla has the most questions this year about UbTechJimu Robot Kits.

They include a camera and microphone that can record kids playing.

But it's not just toys that concerns Caltrider.

Adult gadgets with privacy concerns, too

For adults, she says, Moziilla has questions about the new Hamilton Beach Smart Coffeemaker, that you control through Alexa, and which keeps a record of your caffeine habit.

But the one smart gadget raising the most concerns this holiday season is Amazon's new Halo fitness band, which suggests you upload a photo of yourself in your underwear.

Yes, to study your body mass, the Halo wants underwear pictures.

Mozilla suggests you take a pass, no matter how toned you are.

Amazon Halo .jpg
Amazon Halo

Amazon, Hamilton Beach, and these other companies tell Mozilla your personal information is safe, encrypted, and is not sold.

But with young children, these concerns may be worth thinking about.

See Mozilla's full list here, so you don't waste your money.

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8:47 PM, Oct 17, 2018

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