WASHINGTON (1/28/15)--Data security and privacy risks are among the challenges facing the "Internet of Things" and the estimated 25 billion connected electronic devices that send and receive information, according to a report from the Federal Trade Commission.
Taken from the November 2013 workshop, "The Internet of Things: Privacy and Security in a Connected World," the report highlights the benefits and risks for consumers.
Consumers could be harmed by the exploitation of security risks that enable unauthorized access and misuse of personal information, facilitate attacks on other systems and create risks to personal safety.
The paper discusses the need for legislation and emphasizes the FTC's previous recommendation for Congress to "enact strong, flexible, and technology-neutral federal legislation to strengthen its existing data security enforcement tools and to provide notification to consumers when there is a security breach." (See related story: Legislators say statutes must ensure merchants protect consumers' info.)
"Reasonable and appropriate security practices are critical to addressing the problem of data breaches and protecting consumers from identity theft and other harms," the FTC said. "Notifying consumers of breaches after they occur helps consumers protect themselves from any harm that is likely to be caused by the misuse of their data."
The Credit Union National Association, along with other financial trade organizations, sent a letter to Congress last week with principles to support potential data security legislation.
Credit unions and financial institutions are subject to significant federal requirements to protect consumer information, and retailers aren't held to the same strict standards when data breaches occur.