Q: What do Sourcing@MorganLewis and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have in common?
A: We’ve both been talking about the Internet of Things (IoT).
The FTC recently detailed potential industrywide risks with respect to the IoT and the FTC’s recommended approaches to address these risks in its staff report, Internet of Things: Privacy & Security in a Connected World. As our loyal readers may recall, we at Sourcing also recently spent some time discussing the IoT (see our previous IoT entries for a brief introduction to the IoT and a discussion of vehicle-to-vehicle communications). Today we will review the contents of the FTC report to provide summary takeaways for those involved in this developing industry.
What Risks Are Presented by IoT Use?
Much of the FTC report summarizes the positions of participants from a November 2013 FTC-hosted workshop on the IoT, including academics, consumer advocates, and representatives from government and industry. The scope of the workshop and the report was limited to IoT devices sold to or used by consumers and did not extend to business-to-business or other commercial machine-to-machine communications. The FTC describes various security and privacy risks concerning the IoT through these workshop summaries in the report.