From the FTC: What happens when the sun sets on a smart product?

flug-flugreisen-flugzeug-fliegen-sonnenuntergangThis post is just an excerpt from a blog post by Jessica Rich, Director of the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection on Jul 13, 2016, available here. The FTC post also mentions the FTC’s report on the Internet of Things. I think the post makes some great points about questions IoT companies should be asking themselves.

“So, if you’re an IoT business, product designer, or marketer, [. . .] Ask yourself:

  • Are you selling a device, a service, or both? What are you telling consumers you’re selling?
  • Are consumers getting a fixed-term rental or subscription, or are they getting something they will own and can rely on for the life of the device?
  • Would reasonable consumers expect to be able to keep using the device – and have it be fully functional – if the company, even many years later, rides off into the sunset? Would they expect the device to have an “expiration date”?
  • Could consumers keep using your device in the ways they would reasonably expect based on their experience with similar devices?
  • What did you tell consumers at the outset – or what would they otherwise expect – about the security you would provide for the life of the device?

IoT businesses who think through these issues are more likely to inspire confidence in their products – increasing the chances that consumers will take a shine to them. We think the future of the IoT is quite bright, and plan to monitor developments in this area to ensure that it remains so.”

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