is an associate in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Womble Carlyle’s Research Triangle Park Office. Her practice focuses on the intersection of corporate and intellectual property law.
In creating a privacy and security plan, IOT companies should be mindful of regulatory enforcement for failure to fully comply with their own advertised practices. For example, companies should honor representations made to consumers regarding privacy and security practices, or risk regulatory scrutiny. If not, the FTC may bring an enforcement action, which it did against IOT company, TRENDnet, Inc. According to the FTC, TRENDnet failed to implement reasonable security practices, monitor security vulnerability reports from third parties, test and review potential security vulnerabilities, and implement reasonable guidance for its employees, and thus was in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a). The case settled, and the terms of the settlement prohibited TRENDnet from misrepresenting its privacy and security practices and required it to establish a comprehensive security risk program.