3/1/2015 11:17:02 AM
FTC Weighs In On its Activities in Relation to IoT
FCC,Net Neutrality,App Development,Federal Trade Commission,IoT,Legislation
App Developer Magazine

FTC Weighs In On its Activities in Relation to IoT

Richard Harris Richard Harris in IoT Sunday, March 1, 2015

What impact the recent FCC ruling on its regulatory control of the Internet through its net neutrality decision will have on the app development industry varies widely on who you ask. Everyone is going to have an opinion and its going to be an interesting ride.

However, maybe just as impactful will be the involvement of the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on the future of IoT. At the end of January, the FTC released a staff report providing insight into how the FTC will approach regulation of IoT.  

Here is what the report says FTC will approach its efforts towards IoT:

Although the Commission currently has authority to take action against some IoT-related practices, it cannot mandate certain basic privacy protections – such as privacy disclosures or consumer choice – absent a specific showing of deception or unfairness. Commission staff thus again recommends that Congress enact broadbased (as opposed to IoT-specific) privacy legislation. Such legislation should be flexible and technology-neutral, while also providing clear rules of the road for companies about such issues as how to provide choices to consumers about data collection and use practices.

In the meantime, we will continue to use our existing tools to ensure that IoT companies continue to consider security and privacy issues as they develop new devices. Specifically, we will engage in the following initiatives:

- Law enforcement: The Commission enforces the FTC Act, the FCRA, the health breach notification provisions of the HI-TECH Act, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and other laws that might apply to the IoT. Where appropriate, staff will recommend that the Commission use its authority to take action against any actors it has reason to believe are in violation of these laws.

- Consumer and business education: The Commission staff will develop new consumer and business education materials in this area.

- Participation in multi-stakeholder groups: Currently, Commission staff is participating in multi-stakeholder groups that are considering guidelines related to the Internet of Things, including on facial recognition and smart meters. Even in the absence of legislation, these efforts can result in best practices for companies developing connected devices, which can significantly benefit consumers.

- Advocacy: Finally, where appropriate, the Commission staff will look for advocacy opportunities with other agencies, state legislatures, and courts to promote protections in this area.

You can read the full report here.

Read more: http://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/...

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