At the open session, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner Julie Brill spoke about Security, Privacy, and the Internet of Things. The mission of the FTC is to “prevent business practices that are anticompetitive or deceptive or unfair to consumers; to enhance informed consumer choice and public understanding of the competitive process; and to accomplish this without unduly burdening legitimate business activity.”
In terms of privacy and data security, Commissioner Brill stated that, at this point in time, the FTC has already handled 40 privacy cases and 60 security cases, including the Fandango and Credit Karma cases in which both companies deceived consumers by failing to securely transmit sensitive personal information. The FTC also enforces the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (“COPPA”), which imposes requirements and restrictions on operators of websites or online services directed to children under 13 years of age. They have also implemented the National Do Not Call Registry, which gives consumers the choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home.
In November 2013, the FTC held a public workshop to explore consumer privacy and security issues posed by the growing connectivity of devices often referred to as “The Internet of Things.” The workshop focused on privacy and security issues related to increased connectivity for consumers, both in the home and when consumers are on the move. After the workshop, the FTC published the report Internet of Things Urges Companies to Adopt Best Practices to Address Consumer Privacy and Security Risks. The report recommends a series of concrete steps that businesses can take to enhance and protect consumers’ privacy and security, as Americans start to reap the benefits from a growing world of Internet-connected devices.
Commissioner Brill concluded her presentation with some thoughts about ways to incentivize increased privacy and security, reminding us that
Doing basic hygiene and paying attention is the best way to prevent
hackers from getting into your online accounts.
For more information about the Forum on Cyber Resilience, please see their website.