May 24, 2022

FTC Publishes Report on Internet of Things Privacy and Security Concerns

As we suggested a couple of weeks ago we’re hoping that librarians and library organizations are involved in Internet of Things discussion and policy moving forward.

From an FTC Summary of the Report:

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.

“The only way for the Internet of Things to reach its full potential for innovation is with the trust of American consumers,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “We believe that by adopting the best practices we’ve laid out, businesses will be better able to provide consumers the protections they want and allow the benefits of the Internet of Things to be fully realized.”

The Internet of Things universe is expanding quickly, and there are now over 25 billion connected devices in use worldwide, with that number set to rise significantly as consumer goods companies, auto manufacturers, healthcare providers, and other businesses continue to invest in connected devices, according to data cited in the report.

The report is partly based on input from leading technologists and academics, industry representatives, consumer advocates and others who participated in the FTC’s Internet of Things workshop held in Washington D.C. on Nov. 19, 2013, as well as those who submitted public comments to the Commission. Staff defined the Internet of Things as devices or sensors – other than computers, smartphones, or tablets – that connect, store or transmit information with or between each other via the Internet. The scope of the report is limited to IoT devices that are sold to or used by consumers.


In addition to the report, the FTC also released a new publication for businesses containing advice about how to build security into products connected to the Internet of Things. “Careful Connections: Building Security in the Internet of Things” encourages companies to implement a risk-based approach and take advantage of best practices developed by security experts, such as using strong encryption and proper authentication.

Read the Complete Summary/News Release

Direct to Full Text Report: Federal Trade Commission Staff Report On the November 2013 Workshop Entitled The Internet of Things: Privacy and Security in a Connected World (71 pages; PDF)
Full text is also embedded below.

See Also: World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Announces Launch of Internet of Things Initiative (January 21, 2015)

See Also: Orlando: “The Internet of Things Plan To Make Libraries and Museums Awesomer”(January 7, 2015)

Federal Trade Commission Staff Report On the November 2013 Workshop Entitled The Internet of Things: Privac…

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.