FTC Report Recommends Security Practices for The Internet of Things


The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released a report on the “Internet of Things” in which FTC staff “recommend[s] a series of concrete steps that businesses can take to enhance and protect consumers’ privacy and security, as Americans start to reap the benefits from a growing world of Internet-connected devices.” As explained by the FTC, the Internet of Things refers to everyday objects that can connect to the Internet and store, send, and receive data, such as health and fitness monitors, home security devices, household appliances, and connected cars. While such connected devices have many beneficial and important uses, FTC staff notes that they “raise numerous privacy and security concerns that could undermine consumer confidence.” To address these concerns, FTC staff makes a number of recommendations in the report related to information security, minimizing collected data, consumer notice and choice, legislation, and ways the FTC can use its existing tools. The scope of the report is limited to connected devices that are sold to or used by consumers. To supplement the report, the FTC released a new publication for businesses containing advice about how to build security into products connected to the Internet of Things (“Careful Connections: Building Security in the Internet of Things”).

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