Buyer Beware: The Internet of Things Comes Under New Cyber Attack from Multiple Fronts


It is estimated that by the end of 2020, there will be more than 50,000,000,000 (yes, billion) connected devices that are part of the Internet of Things (IoT). This is a five million percent increase in IoT devices over the last 20 years. Most of these devices are designed and manufactured for use in homes and vehicles or are wearable devices. These devices include everything from home security cameras to baby monitors, thermostats, car ignition starters, smart watches and even medical devices, such as pacemakers. There are literally thousands of different types of IoT devices that integrate into almost every aspect of your home and work life.

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NIST Unveils IoT Baseline of Core Cybersecurity Features for Comment


In a release aptly labeled “A Starting Point for IoT Device Manufacturers” the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an arm of the Department of Commerce, recently added to the discussion with the publication. NIST sought to provide IoT device manufacturers a better understanding of appropriate cybersecurity features for the vast and constantly proliferating range of IoT devices. NIST’s fundamental purpose is to improve the securitibility of IoT devices and to identify, in general terms, the features that can be designed so that customers can better use them to manage cybersecurity risk profiles.

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New Report Signals Further Changes to U.S. Policy toward IoT Technology from China


In recent months, a series of U.S. government reports have documented U.S. policymakers’ growing concerns over Chinese government policies and programs designed to advance China’s competitive edge in a range of technologies and industries.  In turn, the findings of these reports are shaping U.S. economic and national security laws and policies, as illustrated by the recent Section 301 tariff actions, national security reviews of investment by Chinese firms under the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) process, and provisions of the recently-passed John McCain National Defense Authorization Act that restrict exports of “emerging and foundational technologies” and U.S. government use of certain Chinese-made telecommunications equipment.  Against this background, a report released on October 26, 2018, is likely to further increase U.S. government scrutiny of China-manufactured devices with internet connectivity features – so-called “Internet of Things” or “IoT” devices.

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Is There a “Tech” Bureau in the FTC’s Future?


The Federal Trade Commission has focused some of its recent public statements on technology issues and related enforcement challenges. In this blog post, I provide a recap of those statements, including one before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection.

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FTC Staff Provides Recommendations to Consumer Product Safety Commission on IoT Safety


In March 2018, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a Notice of Public Hearing and Request for Written comments on The Internet of Things on Consumer Product Hazards.  The CPSC expressed interest regarding existing safety standards on existing IoT devices, how to prevent hazards, and the role of government in the effort to promote IoT safety.

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Smartwatch News: Privacy Edition


As smartwatches gain in popularity, innovative uses for the wearable technology, along with privacy concerns, continue to pop up. In this roundup, we look at a new app that can help in atrial fibrillation studies and privacy concerns regarding smartwatches for children.

New app identifies irregular heartbeats for medical study

Apple recently launched the Apple Heart Study App, described as a “first-of-its-kind research study using Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor to collect data on irregular heart rhythms and notify users who may be experiencing atrial fibrillation.” Atrial fibrillation is a leading cause of stroke and other heart conditions.

Apple Watch users will be able to enroll in a joint study with Stanford University School of Medicine, which will use the device’s heart rate monitor to check for an irregular heart rate.  If an irregular heart rhythm is identified, the participant will receive a notification on his Apple Watch and iPhone, a free consultation with a study doctor, and an electrocardiogram patch for additional monitoring. This is the first study that Apple itself is sponsoring. Apple will run the study and submit data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval as a regulated software.

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