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FTC Offers Up Privacy Guidelines for the Internet of Things

by Jacob Kleinman | January 28, 2015January 28, 2015 10:00 pm PST


With Apple, Google and Samsung all racing towards a world of connected gadgets and appliances, it’s definitely time to set some ground rules when it comes to security and privacy for the Internet of things. Thankfully, theĀ Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is here with a list of guidelines for future smartwatches, thermostats, lightbulbs and everything else.

The report offers a few solid suggestions for how we can avoid future privacy issues by building security into the devices now. That means ensuring that the data gathered by these devices can’t just be accessed by anyone, and promising to keep a product updated and secure throughout the entire time it’s in use.

The FTC also suggests self-imposed limits on how much data a company can collect and how it deletes that information. The report adds that customers should know who has access to their data, and have the ability to opt out. It even includes a potential handbook for companies developing security for the Internet of Things.

Of course, just because the FTC suggests something doesn’t mean it will happen. The Internet of Things is coming fast, and it’s possible not every new gadget will measure up to our highest security standards.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...