Live spy on me cams

The Kinect allows the Xbox to record video snippets of users playing a game, but the users control whether those clips are shared, according to Microsoft.

But then I realized that one of the toys my wife and I had just bought for our kids had an even more frightening potential for misuse.

It's called a Kinect, and it's a device for Microsoft's Xbox video game system that comes with a microphone, a camera and technology that recognizes a user's voice and face.

This type of camera is hidden in a device like an alarm clock or stuffed animal.

It’s meant to surreptitiously monitor your nanny or babysitter without his/her knowledge.

Even if you believe that, though, no company can promise that information traveling through the Web will remain safe from hackers or spies.

Indeed, several Internet security researchers have found vulnerabilities in the Barbie, and one even claimed he was able to hack the doll for information that could let him take over its microphone.

Just to be safe, though, I'll tell my kids to keep the rec room tidy when they're playing the Xbox.

I wouldn't want the NSA to think we're a bunch of slobs.

But unless you unplug or otherwise disable the device, it's always on, always connected to the Internet, and with Snowden's unnerving story fresh in my mind, I had to ask myself: What did I just bring into my house?

I'm sure I'm not the only parent asking such a question, given the ever-multiplying selection of Internet-connected toys.

Voice data are collected when the Xbox is used as a search engine, Microsoft says, but not when people are speaking to each other via the Internet.

Tags: , ,