FTC’s Lawsuit Should Make You Feel Very Insecure About the IoT

14 February 2017 Publication
Authors: Peter Vogel

E-Commerce Times 2017

Even though D-Link expressly promised that many of its wireless devices had the highest level of security available, the Federal Trade Commission last month filed a lawsuit that alleges otherwise.

The FTC filing includes copies of online marketing materials and technical specifications for D-Link’s products (including its digital baby monitor and wireless routers), and flatly declares that “thousands of Defendants’ routers and cameras have been vulnerable to attacks that subject consumers’ sensitive personal information and local networks to a significant risk of unauthorized access.”

The FTC’s Mission

It has been the role and responsibility of the FTC to protect U.S. consumers since it was established in 1914 — long before the existence of the Internet or the Internet of Things. The FTC’s original purpose was to prevent unfair methods of competition in commerce as part of the battle to “bust the trusts.” Then in 1938, Congress further broadened the FTC’s enforcement powers to protect consumers against “unfair and deceptive acts or practices.”

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