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FTC Reaches First “Internet of Things” Settlement

CONSUMER PRIVACY—U.S.

September 5, 2013

TRENDnet, a maker of Internet-connected home video cameras, has agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over charges “that its lax security practices exposed the private lives of hundreds of consumers to public viewing on the Internet,” an FTC press release states, adding, “This is the agency’s first action against a marketer of an everyday product with interconnectivity to the Internet and other mobile devices—commonly referred to as the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT).” The FTC alleges the business failed to use “reasonable security to design and test its software, including a setting for the cameras’ password requirement.” Under terms in the settlement, TRENDnet must not misrepresent the security of its products and must create a comprehensive information security program and undergo a biannual third-party audit for the next 20 years. The FTC will host a roundtable in November exploring the privacy issues surrounding the IoT.
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