Two Democratic US senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) have asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate privacy problems related to Internet-connected televisions.
“Many Internet-connected smart TVs are equipped with sophisticated technologies that can track the content users are watching and then use that information to tailor and deliver targeted advertisements to consumers,” Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote in a letter yesterday to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons.
It would be up to Congress to pass new laws for smart TVs. But the FTC can punish companies for unfair and deceptive business practices. Action was taken against smart TV manufacturer Vizio last year.
Since December, 21 members of New York City’s Chinese community have lost a total of $2.5 million, according to the New York Police Department, with individuals reporting losses ranging from $1,800 to $1.4 million, according to Voices of NY. Some have lost their life savings.
The caller IDs make it seem like it’s coming from a local number, but investigators say it’s actually coming from a location in China.
The FTC reminded people never to send money to anyone who asks you to do so over the phone.
“Never give your Social Security number, your bank or credit card number, or other sensitive information to anyone who calls and asks for it,” the commission said.
The staff of the Federal Trade Commission recommend a series of concrete steps that businesses can take to enhance and protect consumers’ privacy and security, as Americans start to reap the benefits from a growing world of Internet-connected devices.
The Internet of Things is already impacting the daily lives of millions of Americans through the adoption of health and fitness monitors, home security devices, connected cars and household appliances, among other applications. Such devices offer the potential for improved health-monitoring, safer highways, and more efficient home energy use, among other potential benefits. However, the FTC report also notes that connected devices raise numerous privacy and security concerns that could undermine consumer confidence.
One of the main topics addressed at the workshop was security. The report includes the following recommendations for companies developing Internet of Things devices:
- build security into devices at the outset, rather than as an afterthought in the design process;
- train employees about the importance of security, and ensure that security is managed at an appropriate level in the organization;
- ensure that when outside service providers are hired, that those providers are capable of maintaining reasonable security, and provide reasonable oversight of the providers;
- when a security risk is identified, consider a “defense-in-depth” strategy whereby multiple layers of security may be used to defend against a particular risk;
- consider measures to keep unauthorized users from accessing a consumer’s device, data, or personal information stored on the network;
- monitor connected devices throughout their expected life cycle, and where feasible, provide security patches to cover known risks.
Commission staff also recommend that companies consider limiting the collection of consumer data, and retaining that information only for a set period of time, and not indefinitely. The report notes that data minimization addresses two key privacy risks: first, the risk that a company with a large store of consumer data will become a more enticing target for data thieves or hackers, and second, that consumer data will be used in ways contrary to consumers’ expectations. FTC staff also recommends that companies notify consumers and give them choices about how their information will be used, particularly when the data collection is beyond consumers’ reasonable expectations.
It’s not known why some sites in Washington, DC, are going offline and others will stay online. Nor is it clear how shutting down a government website would save any significant amount of money.
“In the event of a temporary shutdown of the federal government, beginning Tuesday, October 1, all Library of Congress buildings will close to the public and researchers,” the Library of Congress wrote on its website on Friday. “All public events will be cancelled and websites will be inaccessible.”
The Federal Trade Commission (PDF) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (PDF) have told their employees to consult their respective websites for information about when the shutdown would be lifted. However, Peter Kaplan, a spokesperson for the FTC, told Ars that his agency’s site would be largely shut down except for a splash page.
Each time we use the web a data trail is lefted behind. Data companies are collecting your info. The FTC sent out warning letters to these companies. Primary data brokers gather your data straight from the sources: courthouses, police departments, consumer rewards card programs, trademark offices, and more.
Their customers are secondary data brokers. This includes companies like eVerify and Intelius,Spokeo, BeenVerified, and PeekYou,