CES: FTC's Ramirez Raises Warning Flags on IoT

Federal Trade Commission chair Edith Ramirez provided some words of caution about the "Internet of Things" (IoT) that has been much in evidence at the Consumer Electronics Show In Las Vegas this week.  

In a speech about privacy and policy considerations around IoT, she warned that in a world where there are expected to be 25 billion connected devices by the end of 2015, there are significant privacy and security implications that need to be dealt with, primarily the ubiquity of data collection, its potential for unexpected use with adverse consequences, and the increased security risk of that sea of big data.  

To protect both consumers and their business models, she advised companies to mitigate those risks by baking security into the process—"security by design"; minimize data collection by only collecting what is needed and disposing of that safely afterwards; and increase transparency about why and how data is being collected and provide meaningful notice and choice for "unexpected" uses, and not choice buried in lengthy privacy policies.

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John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.