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Privacy policy

the internet of things

Connections between devices and objects, ‘the Internet of Things’ (IoT), is rapidly expanding. Technology such as sensors are embedded in more and more everyday things like cars, utility meters, white goods, wearable fitness trackers or home security systems. This makes objects capable of sensing and remotely communicating with each other, with users or with a central system – for any purpose.

Consumers Society TV - The Buggle Baby Monitor

We have teamed up with the Internet Society to create a 90-second video, bringing to life some of the security issues with smart devices in the home. 

The video is part of a wider campaign to raise awareness of the risks associated with connected products that fail the build in basic privacy and security features during the design stage. 

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Securing consumer trust in the internet of things

With estimates that 20 billion devices are connected to the internet – a figure that’s set to double by 2022 – connected devices now outnumber people by nearly three to one. The Internet of Things has the potential to bring huge benefits to people around the world including: convenience, fixing products remotely and putting more responsive products on the market.

However, alongside the benefits, there are serious risks. Privacy and security, erosion of ownership and product lock-in are just some of the many areas of concern for consumers.

Together with ANEC, BEUC and ICRT, we have published a set of principles and recommendations that propose to make consumer rights, privacy, safety and security key features of the Internet of Things. Click below to download our principles in English.

DOWNLOAD PRINCIPLES


To accompany the principles, our report ‘Testing Our Trust: Consumers and the Internet of Things 2017 Review’, looks at whether trends in IoT are playing out as predicted, how consumers are experiencing this new technology, and how policy makers, industry and advocates are responding to some of the challenges.

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Connected Products and Services Retailer Checklist

Alongside our work to empower consumers on this issue, Consumers International is working with manufacturers, retailers, and regulators to create safer, and more privacy respecting products.

We have created a security and privacy checklist to help retailers of connected children’s products vet potential suppliers against a set of simple criteria to ensure that the IoT products they stock meet a basic standard of safety for its end user. The checklist is not intended as a replacement for mandatory or voluntary standards that are in development but is a useful tool while these are in development.

The checklist has been informed by technical experts in both system security, penetration testing and by Consumers International’s members work in digital standards, cybersecurity and product safety, principles for the internet of things and national governmental codes of practice.

Click below to download the checklist in English. You can also download it in Spanish here

DOWNLOAD CHECKLIST

G20 Consumer Summit 2018

On May 15th and 16th, Consumers International co-hosted the second annual G20 Consumer Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, along with the Argentinian National Directorate for Consumer Protection. This followed on from the successful G20 Consumer Summit in 2017 that was held in Berlin, on the theme of Building a digital world consumers can trust

A major theme was the safety of connected products and services for children.

At the G20 Consumer Summit, Consumers International launched a 60-second spoof advert ‘Huggy Bug Your Family’, highlighting some of the problems found in internet-connected children’s products.

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Related materials

Connected and Protected in a digital age: 2016 Briefing

The report briefing looks at current and future applications of smart and Internet of Things technologies; the risks and opportunities for consumers' and the extent to which existing consumer protection frameworks are able to address and remedy potential problems.

Available in English and Arabic

Connected and Protected in a digital age: 2016 Full Report

The report briefing looks at current and future applications of smart and Internet of Things technologies; the risks and opportunities for consumers' and the extent to which existing consumer protection frameworks are able to address and remedy potential problems. 

news

Consumers Society TV - The Buggle Baby Monitor

Consumers International and the Internet Society have created a 90-second video, bringing to life some of the security issues with smart devices in the home and helping people to connect SMART!

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blog

A Partnership to Tackle Growing Risks in a Connected World

With a shared vision of putting people at the center of the digital world, the Internet Society and Consumers International have formed a new working partnership aimed at creating a safer, more trusted internet for everyone.

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