Internet-Connected Devices and Consumers are Vulnerable, finds F.T.C.
Internet has countless known benefits but the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) unveils some of the unknown or less known dangers for Internet-connected devices: data security and privacy risks, for example. Further, the agency motivates companies to ensure data protection by listing users’ security and privacy at the top of their priorities.
“Many of us are using these devices,” Edith Ramirez, F.T.C. chairwoman, told The New York Times in a telephone interview. “If consumers feel that their information isn’t being protected, they won’t have the confidence level to embrace them.”
The regulators urged companies to include data security measures in the pre-planning of smart devices instead of considering it as an additional activity.
“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 regulators recommended companies to put specific limits on the amount of information to be collected from the connected consumers and even on the time companies keep that information.
Natasha further observes that agency’s report points out the basic initiatives that companies can take as security measures, but it lacks the “weight of enforceable regulations.”
Some companies possibly resist such practices owing to the competition in the market. Services rates are falling down, and it becomes more rationale to monitor larger chunks of data. Despite the less stringent suggestions by the agency, it is being expected that at least well known companies will honor the F.T.C report.
According to an information technology research firm Gartner, 4.9 billion devices will be used in this year and the number of these connected items for consumers, enterprises manufacturing and utilities will rise to 25 billion by 2020.
Assessing the potential risk for consumers, the report observes that hijackers can not only cause data loss and misuse information, at worst, they can create physical protection threats for the connected users.
The agency vowed to keep a strict eye at the producers to lessen the security risks and defects in the privacy of the users.