Lessons for Connected Devices From the FTC’s Warning Against Unexpected Data Collection 

In a recently announced $2.2 million settlement with television manufacturer VIZIO, the FTC and the state of New Jersey emphasized the importance of providing notice and consent particularly when connected-device users may not expect the types of data collection and sharing taking place. The action demonstrates the coordination of federal and state enforcement agencies, and the settlement terms serve to inform connected-device companies about the agencies' expectations. In terms of data collection and disclosure, “companies should consider what consumers expect of a device, particularly if it was an analog device that has not been smart in the past,” FTC attorney Megan Cox told the Cybersecurity Law Report. See “FTC Priorities for 2017 and Beyond” (Jan. 11, 2017); and “Privacy, Security Risks and Applicable Regulatory Regimes of Smart TVs” (Jan. 11, 2017).

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