Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday confirmed some of the worst fears about Internet-connected devices, saying the technology presented serious data security and privacy risks, and urged companies to make data protection a top priority.
While the agency noted the potential benefits for owners of smart devices like connected fitness bands, regulators also said the technology generated enormous amounts of personal data that could be misused or obtained by hackers.
“Many of us are using these devices,” Edith Ramirez, the chairwoman of the F.T.C., said in a telephone interview. But, she said, “if consumers feel that their information isn’t being protected, they won’t have the confidence level to embrace them.”
In a staff report, the agency urged companies to institute basic data security measures when they develop such devices and sensors, rather than as an afterthought. It also encouraged companies to develop new ways to communicate their data collection and handling practices — even if they market sensors that are too small to contain digital information displays for consumers.
“We are still at a time when we can have an impact on how the Internet of Things evolves,” Ms. Ramirez said in the interview, referring to an array of connected devices. “These important privacy principles still have a place in today’s world.”
The Latest on: Internet of Things
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The Latest on: Internet of Things
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