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Federal Trade Commission staff filed a comment today with the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) regarding the agency’s request for comment on the benefits, challenges and role of government in fostering innovation for the rapidly growing number of devices connected to the Internet, often referred to as the Internet of Things.

In the comment, staff of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and Office of Policy Planning outlines the FTC’s extensive history of privacy & security enforcement cases, as well as the agency’s work in examining the growth and evolution of technology markets from a competition perspective. The comment discusses the benefits and risks of the Internet of Things based on FTC staff’s 2015 Internet of Things Report as well as numerous other Commission reports and workshops.

In addition, the comment addresses a number of proposed best practices for businesses regarding the Internet of Things, providing recommendations regarding data security, data minimization, and how best to give consumers meaningful notice and choice about the collection and use of their data. The comment also addresses the role of government in enforcing consumer protections in the Internet of Things.

The comment also addresses the potential impact on consumers and competition from creating standards that allow various Internet of Things devices to interact and work together.

The Commission vote authorizing staff to file the comment was 3-0.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Contact Information

Jay Mayfield
Office of Public Affairs