Advocacy groups ask retailers to adopt guidelines for IoT devices

(Feb 13, 2019) Mozilla, the Internet Society and nine other advocacy groups have asked Target, Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart to endorse a set of privacy and security guidelines for internet-of-things devices. The groups want the major retailers to use the standards to vet smart products they plan to sell. The open letter to the companies includes the five criteria for retailers to follow. Each product must use encrypted communications, provide security updates, and require strong passwords, a system to manage v... Read More

Survey: Majority of Canadian citizens concerned about smart-city privacy

(Feb 8, 2019) A survey conducted by McMaster University found 88 percent of Canadians expressed some level of concern about their privacy in smart cities, The Conversation reports. Of the 1,011 individuals surveyed, 23 percent they said they were extremely concerned about smart-city privacy. When asked about what they wish to have done with their data, 71 percent would be open to their data used for traffic and city planning, and 63 percent said they would be open for police to use their information for crime... Read More

NIST calls for feedback on IoT cybersecurity discussion draft

(Feb 5, 2019) The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Cybersecurity for the Internet of Things Program wants stakeholders to offer feedback on its “Considerations for a Core IoT Cybersecurity Capabilities Baseline” discussion draft. NIST has called for insight on the identification of a minimum set of cybersecurity capabilities for IoT devices, as well as whether the capabilities listed in the discussion draft are reasonable for a core baseline and if they are useful for device manufacturers... Read More

EU authorities order recall of children's smartwatch over privacy issues

(Feb 5, 2019) European authorities have ordered a children’s smartwatch to be recalled over privacy concerns, ZDNet reports. The Safe-KID-One smartwatch is designed with a GPS tracker, built-in microphone, and the ability for users to call and text. In the European Commission’s Rapid Alert System for Non-Food Products, authorities warn hackers could compromise the device in order to communicate or locate the young users. "The mobile application accompanying the watch has unencrypted communications with its ba... Read More

FPF releases paper on IoT-device privacy for people with disabilities

(Feb 1, 2019) The Future of Privacy Forum has released a new paper called, "The Internet of Things and People with Disabilities: Exploring the Benefits, Challenges, and Privacy Tensions." It includes recommendations for approaches to incorporate privacy and accessibility by design. FPF CEO Jules Polonetsky, CIPP/US, said, "Internet of things devices in homes, cars and on our bodies can improve the quality of life for people with disabilities — if they are designed to be accessible and account for the sensitiv... Read More

Hong Kong officials dismiss privacy concerns over new toll system

(Jan 24, 2019) The South China Morning Post reports that Hong Kong Transport and Housing Undersecretary Raymond So Wai-man dismissed privacy concerns over the automatic toll system in place at a new tunnel connecting Lam Tin and Tseung Kwan O, slated to open in 2021. The system will capture images of sticker tags or rear number plates but not of drivers or passengers. “We would keep the information for around 30 days, but the main goal is not for keeping personal details,” he said. Full Story... Read More

Hacker threatens incoming missile attack through smart camera

(Jan 23, 2019) A California family discovered their wireless smart-home camera was hacked by an individual who sent a fake warning of an incoming missile attack from North Korea, warning them they had to evacuate, The Daily Dot reports. After an initial panic, the family called 911 to confirm the report, only to find out it was a hoax. Upon calling Nest’s customer service, the family was told their device was likely compromised and was advised to change the password.Full Story... Read More

CES 2019: Did the tech hype surpass privacy concerns this year?

(Jan 18, 2019) CES 2019 has come and gone, and I've flown back from a perfectly comfortable Las Vegas to a chilly New England that's about to get walloped by a mountain of snow. After taking in as much of the conference as I could, it feels like where privacy stood at CES is an accurate representation of how privacy may be a priority for a growing number of companies and industry professionals, but not necessarily for your average Joe. Tech companies and startups are becoming more aware about the importance o... Read More

Sen. Markey calls for privacy protections before FAA loosens drone rules

(Jan 18, 2019) Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., has called for stronger privacy protections to be enacted before the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration loosens rules around the use of commercial drones, Multichannel News reports. The FAA seeks to no longer require waivers for flights at night and over groups of people. Markey said Congress needs to act before the agency makes any alterations to drone guidelines. “Privacy cannot be an afterthought as the FAA seeks to make it easier and safer for commercial drones to ... Read More

Wearable device use expected to increase in health care industry

(Jan 15, 2019) As wearable devices become more popular among consumers, questions surrounding privacy and security will need to be answered, ZDNet reports. A recent report from Juniper Research shows that within five years, approximately $20 billion will be spent annually on wearable devices, health trackers and remote patient monitoring devices, and 5 million people are forecasted to be monitored by health care providers. The tech industry is taking notice, increasing its growth in wearables by 8.5 percent in... Read More