EPIC Request Congress to Have the NTIA Do More to Secure The Internet Of Things

Posted by at 10:47 am on February 3, 2017

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) asked Congress to use the reauthorization of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) to finally protect Americans during the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) in seemingly every aspect of modern life.

“The implications of Internet of Things for consumer privacy and security are far-reaching,” the privacy group said in a letter to the head of US House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. “If the NTIA fails to develop appropriate safeguards, the country will face growing risk.”

EPIC asked NTIA to address these problems with consumer protections that:

  • Promote Privacy Enhancing Techniques (PETs) that minimize or eliminate the collection of personal information.
  • Ensure routine security updates for IoT devices; and
  • Carefully assesses IoT deployment for critical functions, including transportation, home security, and medical devices.

“The NTIA’s multi-stakeholder processes are simply not working – they result in weak, voluntary self-regulatory regimes. Industry self-regulatory programs do not provide meaningful privacy protections. The NTIA should support a strong legal framework that protects American Internet users and promotes public safety.”

Securing IoT devices has bee a hot topic of late.  Google announced in December a new platform meant to help IoT companies secure their products. Virginia Senator Mark Warner has called for safer connected devices.  Allowing manufacturers to continue to release them without basic protections and security testing is asking for trouble. We alreeady seen that trouble in October 2016 when twitter and Spotify were unreachable for several hours due to an attack on critical infrastructure by malware-affected IoT devices.

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