The Internet of Things: Possibilities and Problems

April 24, 2014

Executive Summary

The emerging market of connected devices, known as the “Internet of Things,” encompasses a vast array of products and equipment used by consumers every day, from appliances that monitor activity in the home to wearable devices and even cars that navigate without human assistance. It is easy to imagine how interconnected devices might be used to collect data useful to advertisers and deliver marketing messages, but beware: this data can be fraught with privacy and security landmines. The FTC is actively examining these issues and has directed entities operating in this space to apply privacy-by-design principles and build security into these devices. The FCC’s new chairman has hinted that his agency could take an expanded role, declaring the FCC to be the “public’s representative to the ongoing network revolution,” and stating that as networks evolve, so should government oversight. The implications for advertisers are critical to understand if the industry hopes to leverage the Internet of Things to the fullest advantage while staying firmly in compliance with regulatory norms.

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“The Internet of Things: Possibilities and Problems.” Christin McMeley, Partner and Co-Chair, Privacy and Security Practice at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP; John Ciesla, Global Director of Information Security at Grey Group. ANA Advertising Law and Public Policy Conference, 4/24/14.

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