i3 - March/April 2016 - 43

BY JULIE KEARNEY

I N N OVAT I O N I N ACT I O N
TOP LINES FROM GARY SHAPIRO'S
CES 2016 ONE-ON-ONE WITH FTC
CHAIRWOMAN EDITH RAMIREZ

D

uring a standing room only
one-on-one at CES 2016, Federal
Communications Commission
(FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler
and CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro discussed many crucial topics before
the FCC. Shapiro was then joined by
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. Here is a condensed, edited portion of their discussion.
The FTC has been focusing on the
report, Internet of Things. Can you talk
about how it came about?

We held a workshop on the Internet of
Things the year prior to issuing the report.
It is an effort to reflect and acknowledge
the benefits that the Internet of Things can
bring to consumers and also make sure
companies and consumers are aware of the
risks that come with devices that are connected and collecting all sorts of information about us. Whether it's at home, work
or wearing fitness monitors, there's no
question that data is increasingly becoming
today's currency. We need to be aware of
what impact that has on consumers.
The report was well received both in
government and by industry, but it also
raised some questions.

For me, this issue of the Internet of Things,
and frankly all the mechanisms that companies use to collect information about us,
raises certain concerns that we need to be
conscious of and seek to address. The first
is this notion of ubiquitous collection: that
data is being collected about us in different ways through these various devices that
we're bringing into our homes. Whether it
is a smart thermostat or a smart fork that
can document what I'm consuming late at
night, these devices are gathering sensitive
information about us. How is this informaC TA . t e c h / i 3

tion being used? With whom is
it being shared? The potential
for unexpected uses is a second
concern. Another major concern has to do with security. As
companies amass this personal information
about us, you can draw sensitive inferences
even from seemingly benign information-
how is that information being protected? Is
it secure? How many weeks go by without
another headline about a major breach? We
need to be conscious of these risks. At the
FTC we want to make sure that companies
are aware of it and provide guidance to help
them address those risks.
Apple asked their users, "Are you willing
to share your health information?" The
majority said yes for the greater good. Yet
you don't hear about that at the FTC. It's all
about privacy and how this is bad. 

I think consumers are willing to share
information if they understand what the
information is being used for. If it's going
to be used for the greater good, absolutely
that's a great positive. But, if it's being
shared with third parties that may be using
it for other purposes that they may not
know about, that's going to raise concerns.
Last week, Pew Research Center issued a
survey finding that a significant minority
of consumers report being confused about
the privacy and data practices of companies. That's not a good thing. Consumers should feel confident in the products
they're purchasing. And Accenture issued
a report indicating that there is an increase
in consumers seeking intelligent and connected devices but they're very concerned
about privacy and data security practices.
Consumers are going to be slow to take up
these new products if issues about privacy
and security are concerned. Let me use a
personal example. You were comparing

Fitbits with Chairman Wheeler. What you
don't want to have happen is for consumers to do what I did. While I'm concerned
about health, I went to an old school
pedometer. I don't want my sensitive
health information being shared. Other
consumers who are privacy-sensitive also
will opt not to use these new products
if they're not assured that companies
are being transparent about their data
practices. Consumers should feel confident
using these new terrific technologies. At the
FTC, we want to make sure that innovation
and competition flourishes, but we also
want to see competition when it comes to
privacy and data security.
The report showed that you want the
industry to be aggressive in creating
transparent, clear, opt-out policies. We got
the people who make these devices from
Apple to Samsung to Sony to Misfit to Fitbit
to agree on very clear, strong principles
that the industry should follow. 

That is absolutely what needs to happen and I am encouraged by the number
of companies that are doing this. Most
companies recognize this is an issue that
concerns consumers and they're taking
steps to provide transparency. This latest
report from the Pew Research Center
indicates that many consumers are still
confused about data practices. And that's
something that industry needs to address.

EXTRA
Read the full interview

MARCH/APRIL 2016

43


http://www.CTA.tech/i3

i3 - March/April 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - March/April 2016

Contents
i3 - March/April 2016 - Cover1
i3 - March/April 2016 - Cover2
i3 - March/April 2016 - Contents
i3 - March/April 2016 - 2
i3 - March/April 2016 - 3
i3 - March/April 2016 - 4
i3 - March/April 2016 - 5
i3 - March/April 2016 - 6
i3 - March/April 2016 - 7
i3 - March/April 2016 - 8
i3 - March/April 2016 - 9
i3 - March/April 2016 - 10
i3 - March/April 2016 - 11
i3 - March/April 2016 - 12
i3 - March/April 2016 - 13
i3 - March/April 2016 - 14
i3 - March/April 2016 - 15
i3 - March/April 2016 - 16
i3 - March/April 2016 - 17
i3 - March/April 2016 - 18
i3 - March/April 2016 - 19
i3 - March/April 2016 - 20
i3 - March/April 2016 - 21
i3 - March/April 2016 - 22
i3 - March/April 2016 - 23
i3 - March/April 2016 - 24
i3 - March/April 2016 - 25
i3 - March/April 2016 - 26
i3 - March/April 2016 - 27
i3 - March/April 2016 - 28
i3 - March/April 2016 - 29
i3 - March/April 2016 - 30
i3 - March/April 2016 - 31
i3 - March/April 2016 - 32
i3 - March/April 2016 - 33
i3 - March/April 2016 - 34
i3 - March/April 2016 - 35
i3 - March/April 2016 - 36
i3 - March/April 2016 - 37
i3 - March/April 2016 - 38
i3 - March/April 2016 - 39
i3 - March/April 2016 - 40
i3 - March/April 2016 - 41
i3 - March/April 2016 - 42
i3 - March/April 2016 - 43
i3 - March/April 2016 - 44
i3 - March/April 2016 - 45
i3 - March/April 2016 - 46
i3 - March/April 2016 - 47
i3 - March/April 2016 - 48
i3 - March/April 2016 - Cover3
i3 - March/April 2016 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20210304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20210102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20200910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20200708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20200506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20200304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20200102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20191112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20181112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20171112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20161112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160910
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com