FTC suggests Internet of Things 'best practices' to businesses

The FTC's chairwoman argued these advised guidelines would both reassure consumers while helping the Internet of Things realize its full potential.

As connected devices, collectively falling under the Internet of Things umbrella, continue to multiple, so do the worries of everyone from average consumers to government officials.

The Federal Trade Commission has published an in-depth report into the cutting-edge wave of technology giving birth to billions upon billions of data -- much of its quite sensitive, personal, and vulnerable.

The FTC defined the Internet of Things to encompass "devices or sensors - other than computers, smartphones, or tablets - that connect, store or transmit information with or between each other via the Internet."

While acknowledging some of the obvious benefits to the adoption of smart home appliances and connected cars, the FTC raised alarms over the potential side effects too.

The big worry, suggested the FTC, would be the end result -- one that could be cataclysmic to businesses in the long run: the loss of consumer confidence and trust.

Thus, the FTC suggested a number of best practices for businesses to employ when selling and deploying connected products themselves.

Among tips include additional employee training stressing the importance of tech security, having a plan in place for when security risks and breaches come to fruition, and building in security as a core component "rather than as an afterthought in the design process."

Many of these pieces of advice and research stem from technologists, academics, industry representatives, and consumer advocates who participated in the FTC's Internet of Things workshop in Washington D.C. last November.

For the purposes of this particular report, the FTC limited its coverage to IoT devices pitched to consumers.

FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez posited in the report that her agency's advised guidelines would both reassure consumers while helping the Internet of Things realize its full potential.

"The only way for the Internet of Things to reach its full potential for innovation is with the trust of American consumers," said Ramirez.

For a look at the complete 71-page report, scroll through the document below:

FTC: Internet of Things Report


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