Refrigerators that tell you you're out of milk, cars that
warn of an imminent collision, implants that know if you've
taken your medicine—by tying almost anything into a wireless
network, the "Internet of Things" promises to transform
several industries. Yet in the eyes of regulators and lawmakers,
the IoT presents new risks ranging from privacy and security
breaches to catastrophic system failures.
Regulators in the U.S. and EU are particularly concerned that
IoT devices could collect and disseminate personal information
without users' consent—an issue they're already
worried about when it comes to mobile phone apps, says
Alistair Maughan, a London partner and co-chair of the
Technology Transactions Group at Morrison & Foerster. Both
the IoT itself and any potential regulatory frameworks are in their
infancy. But tech companies may want to get ahead of the issue by
monitoring public statements by regulators on the IoT, including
speeches by FTC commissioners and the EU's Commission's
2013 report on the IoT. "To future-proof your design,
you'll want to consider legal and regulatory ramifications very
early in the process," Maughan says. "And you may want to
focus on approaches that will work in the maximum number of
Keywords: FTC, internet, Internet of Things,
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provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should
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According to the FTC: "The basic consumer protection statute enforced by the Commission is Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, which provides that "unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce … are … declared unlawful."
On July 31, Facebook, Inc. ("Facebook") submitted reply papers to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, arguing that a putative Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") class action lawsuit must be dismissed.
In August 2013, Mr. David Frankel initiated a lawsuit against
the Federal Trade Commission (the "FTC" or
"Commission") for snubbing his submission to an
FTC-sponsored contest concerning robocall-blocking technology.
The Food and Drug Administration has sent a warning letter to the pharmaceutical company Duchesnay because of a recent Kim Kardashian social post endorsing the company's morning sickness drug, DICLEGIS.
The Internet of Things and the Inevitable Collision with Products Liability, published in February 2015, identified a number of factors leading to the emergence and phenomenal growth of the Internet of Things.