[KI-LC] FTC IoT Request for Input

Joni Brennan joni at ieee-isto.org
Fri May 3 15:47:36 EDT 2013

Dear Trustees and LC,

I would like to understand if Kantara would seek to respond to this event
on IoT from the FTC planned for Nov 21.  The last day to respond is June 1
so there is not much time if we'd like to take part.

- Best Regards

FTC Seeks Input on Privacy and Security Implications of the Internet of
Things Commission Staff to Conduct Workshop on Nov. 21

The staff of the Federal Trade Commission is interested in the consumer
privacy and security issues posed by the growing connectivity of consumer
devices, such as cars, appliances, and medical devices, and invites
comments on these issues in advance of a public workshop to be held on
November 21, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

The ability of everyday devices to communicate with each other and with
people is becoming more prevalent and often is referred to as “The Internet
of Things.”  Consumers already are able to use their mobile phones to open
their car doors, turn off their home lights, adjust their thermostats, and
have their vital signs, such as blood pressure, EKG, and blood sugar
levels, remotely monitored by their physicians. In the not too distant
future, consumers approaching a grocery store might receive messages from
their refrigerator reminding them that they are running out of milk.

Connected devices can communicate with consumers, transmit data back to
companies, and compile data for third parties such as researchers, health
care providers, or even other consumers, who can measure how their product
usage compares with that of their neighbors.  The devices can provide
important benefits to consumers:  they can handle tasks on a consumer’s
behalf, improve efficiency, and enable consumers to control elements of
their home or work environment from a distance. At the same time, the data
collection and sharing that smart devices and greater connectivity enable
pose privacy and security risks.

FTC staff seeks input on the privacy and security implications of these
developments.  For example:

   - What are the significant developments in services and products that
   make use of this connectivity (including prevalence and predictions)?
   - What are the various technologies that enable this connectivity (e.g.,
   RFID, barcodes, wired and wireless connections)?
   - What types of companies make up the smart ecosystem?
   - What are the current and future uses of smart technology?
   - How can consumers benefit from the technology?
   - What are the unique privacy and security concerns associated with
   smart technology and its data?  For example, how can companies implement
   security patching for smart devices?  What steps can be taken to prevent
   smart devices from becoming targets of or vectors for malware or adware?
   - How should privacy risks be weighed against potential societal
   benefits, such as the ability to generate better data to improve
   health-care decisionmaking or to promote energy efficiency? Can and should
   de-identified data from smart devices be used for these purposes, and if
   so, under what circumstances?

FTC staff will accept submissions through June 1, 2013, electronically
through iot at ftc.gov or in written form.  Paper submissions should be mailed
or delivered to:  600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Room H-113 (Annex B),
Washington, DC 20580.  The FTC requests that any paper submissions be sent
by courier or overnight service, if possible, because postal mail in the
Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened
security precautions.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent,
deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help
spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish,
visit the FTC's online Complaint
Assistant<https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/>or call
1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into
Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000
civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The
FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer
Like the FTC on Facebook <http://www.ftc.gov/leaving/facebook/index.shtml>,
follow us on Twitter <http://www.ftc.gov/leaving/twitter/index.shtml>,
and subscribe
to press releases <https://www.ftc.gov/opa/subscribe.shtm#pr> for the
latest FTC news and resources.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jay Mayfield*
Office of Public Affairs*
202-326-2181 STAFF CONTACT:Karen Jagielski
*Bureau of Consumer Protection*
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