Michael Decicco –
On January 27, 2015, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a report discussing privacy and data security in consumer devices connected to the internet.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The FTC defined the IoT to include things such as devices or sensors, other than computers, smartphones or tablets, that connect, communicate or transmit information with or between each other through the internet. For example, smart thermostat systems or washers and dryers that utilize Wi-Fi for remote monitoring.
Data Security and Privacy Risks
While the FTC acknowledged some benefits of the IoT, it cautioned that the IoT presents a variety of data security and privacy risks. The risks include: (i) the enabling of unauthorized access to and misuse of personally identifiable information (PII), (ii) the facilitation of attacks on other interconnected systems, and (iii) the creation of safety risks. While the first two risk factors are common in the traditional computing environment, the third represents a new, physical type of risk. For example, it may be possible to remotely hack into a connected medical device and change its settings, impeding its therapeutic function.