With more of the things people buy being internet-connected, more of our reviews and recommendations at Wirecutter are including lengthy sections detailing the privacy and security features of such products, everything from smart thermostats to fitness trackers. As the data these devices collect is sold and shared—and hacked—deciding what risks you’re comfortable with is a necessary part of making an informed choice. And those risks vary widely, in part because there’s no single, comprehensive federal law regulating how most companies collect, store, or share customer data.

Most of the data economy underpinning common products and services is invisible to shoppers.

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