Internet of Things
What does the internet of things mean for data breaches?
- By Chase Gunter
- May 11, 2017
The explosive growth of internet-connected devices creates new pathways for attack for hackers, and expands the possibilities of the kinds of data that can be compromised. The question before policymakers is whether new laws are needed to protect consumers and to govern disclosure of data breaches.
At a May 10 American Bar Association event, Federal Trade Commission Associate Director for Privacy and Identity Protection Maneesha Mithal said that, on the consumer side, the "ubiquitous data collection" creates new risks for consumers, and the voluminous data creates "treasure troves for hackers."
Mithal said the new risks posed by IOT -- such as companies' not fully informing consumers about their data collection practices and not adequately securing consumer information -- require legislative solutions.
"I do believe we need additional legislation to perform federal data security and data breach notification legislation that would apply across-the-board to all companies, including IOT," she said.
Currently, there is no single data breach notification standard that applies nationwide. U.S. states create their own laws that cover their residents and businesses. Under the Obama administration, several efforts were initiated by the White House and in Congress to push a federal standard, but no new law resulted.
Ruth Hill Bro, former chair of the ABA section of science and technology law, added that industry would likely support such legislation.
"A lot of companies would welcome having one federal benchmark," for security and data breach notification rather than having to analyze 50 different ones for each state.
Chase Gunter is a staff writer covering civilian agencies, workforce issues, health IT, open data and innovation.
Prior to joining FCW, Gunter reported for the C-Ville Weekly in Charlottesville, Va., and served as a college sports beat writer for the South Boston (Va.) News and Record. He started at FCW as an editorial fellow before joining the team full-time as a reporter.
Gunter is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where his emphases were English, history and media studies.
Click here for previous articles by Gunter, or connect with him on Twitter: @WChaseGunter