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Ftc Says Internet-Connected Devices Pose Big Risks


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A representation of the Internet of Things.

A report by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has found that Internet-connected devices present serious data security and privacy risks.

Credit: surveyanalytics.com

Internet-connected devices present serious data security and privacy risks, according to a U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report released on Tuesday, which urged organizations to make data protection a top priority.

Although the report acknowledges the potential benefits for users of smart devices, it notes the technology also generates enormous amounts of personal data that could be misused or obtained by hackers.

The report also says organizations should develop new ways to communicate their data collection and handling practices. However, the FTC does not have the power to enforce these regulations, and it has urged Congress to enact a baseline federal consumer privacy law, although such legislation is unlikely to pass in a Republican-controlled Congress.

"I think everyone can agree that industry needs to do a better job, writ large, on addressing Internet of Things security issues," says the Center for Democracy & Technology's Justin Brookman.

About 4.9 billion connected items for consumers, enterprises, manufacturing, and utilities will be in use this year, and that figure is expected to rise to 25 billion by 2020, according to Gartner. In order to limit consumers' vulnerability, the FTC recommends companies consider putting limits on the volume of information their devices collect from consumers and on the amount of time they retain those records.

From The New York Times
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