The Emerging Role of Government in the Internet of Things
In early January 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint against D-Link Corporation, a Taiwan-based computer networking equipment manufacturer, for alleged inadequate security measures. The FTC stated in its complaint that these security lapses left D-Link’s wireless routers and cameras vulnerable to hackers, putting consumers’ privacy at risk. The FTC also targeted ASUS, a computer hardware manufacturer, and TRENDnet, a networking and surveillance solution provider, in the complaint. These companies promote the security of their products and solutions; however, they allegedly failed to address easily preventable security flaws. The day before the complaint was filed, the FTC announced it was challenging the public to develop a tool that would address security vulnerabilities that are caused by out-of-date software in IoT devices. While the private sector often views government as the problem, the FTC’s actions in this arena show the role that the government can play in addressing IoT security concerns, although that role is not clearly defined.
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