Privacy Commissioner Slams Industry Over IoT Device Secrecy

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Some 71 percent of Internet of Things devices marketed in Australia do not provide a privacy policy that adequately explains how the personal information they gather is managed, according to Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim.Pilgrim has released the findings of an international
sweep of IoT devices, conducted by the Global Privacy Enforcement Network, with
his office responsible for the Australian findings. Among them:

Australian businesses have failed to explain how some 71pc of these
devices and services work and are managed;

Around 69pc did not adequately explain how customers could delete
their information off their devices;

Some 89pc of Australian organisations did not clearly indicate whether
there were tools a user could access to delete personal information off the
device so they could resell the device; or how they could delete information
remotely if the device was lost or stolen.

The 26 privacy enforcement authorities that make up GPEN say they examined the
privacy policies of more than 300 businesses around the world, including 45
used by Australian consumers. They included movie streaming devices, fitness
trackers, home appliances and children’s toys.

Says Timothy Pilgrim: “The Internet of Things allows for some great
products and entertainment, but many of us have adopted this technology into
our everyday lives without considering how much of our personal information is
being captured or what happens to that information.

“I encourage all Australians to look for privacy policies before you
decide to use a device, and ensure you are comfortable with what information is
being collected and how it is being managed.”

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