Yet Another IoT Standards Group: This One For Privacy

Data privacy firm TRUSTe announced that it is forming a group to identify technical standards to ensure consumer privacy in the Internet of Things.

A new group backed by TRUSTe and other online privacy advocates will develop standards for protecting information on The Internet of Things.
A new group backed by TRUSTe and other online privacy advocates will develop standards for protecting information on The Internet of Things.

Speaking at the Internet of Things Privacy Summit in San Francisco last week, Chris Babel, the CEO of TRUSTe said that the multi-party group will draw up “technical standards to help companies develop the privacy solutions that are needed to protect consumer privacy in the Internet of Things.”

[Read Security Ledger’s coverage of privacy issues related to the Internet of Things here.]

The group, dubbed the IoT Privacy Tech Working Group will include representatives from TRUSTe as well as online privacy groups The Center for Democracy & Technology, The Future of Privacy Forum and the Online Trust Alliance, according to a statement from TRUSTe.   IoT privacy tech working group announced.

“This working group will work to address the mounting security and privacy concerns, while promoting transparency and user controls,” said Craig Spiezle, Executive Director and President, Online Trust Alliance in a statement. 

Security and privacy standards groups for IoT are popping up like daffodils in the springtime. Last week, Dell, Broadcom, Intel, Samsun, Wind River and Atmel announced they were forming The Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) to create a “common communications framework” to connect IoT devices wirelessly that is “based on industry standard technologies.”

That is in addition to The AllSeen Alliance, a group of 50 companies including Qualcomm, Microsoft, LG, Haier and others that has an almost identical mandate.

TRUSTe, which was founded in 1997 in Silicon Valley assesses and certifies web sites’ handling of user- and customer data. It is best known for the seal of approval it gives to web sites that meet its standards – a graphic that is intended to convey to visitors that the site abides by online security and privacy best practices.

However, the Internet of Things greatly expands the scope of devices and contexts in which users will be sharing personally identifiable information. Already, security researchers have identified vulnerabilities and design flaws that expose user information in devices from connected vehicles to smart television sets and surveillance cameras. Speaking in April in a Google Hangout, Vint Cerf, Google’s Internet Evangelist, said that connected devices hold the possibility of wonderful new services, but also of privacy and security headaches.

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