FTC Seeks Comment on the “Internet of Things”

The FTC yesterday put out a request for comment on the consumer privacy and security issues posed by the "Internet of Things." As the FTC explains:

The ability of everyday devices to communicate with each other and with
people is becoming more prevalent and often is referred to as "The
Internet of Things." Consumers already are able to use their mobile
phones to open their car doors, turn off their home lights, adjust their
thermostats, and have their vital signs, such as blood pressure, EKG,
and blood sugar levels, remotely monitored by their physicians. In the
not too distant future, consumers approaching a grocery store might
receive messages from their refrigerator reminding them that they are
running out of milk.

Connected devices can communicate with consumers, transmit data back to
companies, and compile data for third parties such as researchers,
health care providers, or even other consumers, who can measure how
their product usage compares with that of their neighbors. The devices
can provide important benefits to consumers: they can handle tasks on a
consumer’s behalf, improve efficiency, and enable consumers to control
elements of their home or work environment from a distance. At the
same time, the data collection and sharing that smart devices and
greater connectivity enable pose privacy and security risks.

Comments on the privacy and security implications of these developments are due June 1. The FTC has scheduled a public workshop on the topic for November 21, 2013, in Washington, DC.

0 thoughts on “FTC Seeks Comment on the “Internet of Things”

  1. CT Foster says:

    The First Amendment right of freedom of speech is vital to The United States of America. As citizens, we need to be able to talk with each other without the threat of punishment by any government or corporation of any kind. Of course, it is incumbent on us to use critical thinking on any communication. While private matters (like bank account #’s etc.) must be protected, such protection must never be used as an “excuse” to limit or monitor non-private communication — even unpopular non-private communication!

  2. Lauren Donna Graham says:

    Our country has been stolen by the corporate culture. Here is an apt quote from Abraham Lincoln in 1863; “Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow.” Basically, if you are not a consumer above a certain level, you really don’t exist. I am 67, and the America I was taught and believed in no longer exists.

  3. Sandra Colr says:

    Poor people have no access, that denies them access to many things that could improve their economic status…and their buying power. Internet connectivity and speed in the US lags far behind that of the rest of the world and it is only because our political system is profit driven. If there is no profit up front, the investment is worthless. Pity, business would be better off if they understood the public as their customers rather than just a cost line (as employees students, social security recipients etc.) on their balance sheet. A stable economy is far more valuable than short term profit. Its gonna take a whole lotta pain before it gets better.

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