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GAO: Rapid ‘Internet of Things’ Adoption Could Pose Security Risks

The Government Accountability Office has warned that the rapid emergence of internet-of-things technologies could present challenges in the areas of information security, privacy, safety, technical standards and economy.

GAO said Monday it believes unsecure IoT devices, networks or cloud servers in homes, factories and communities can be compromised in a cyber attack.

The agency added that smart devices such as fitness trackers could collect personally identifiable information from users without their consent and such information could be sold to companies and used in ways that consumers did not expect.

IoT-based platforms could also cause economic disruptions such as a decreased need for certain businesses and jobs that require individual interventions, including assembly line work and commercial vehicle deliveries, according to GAO.

GAO urged public and private organizations to develop and implement technical standards to manage  communication between connected devices and systems.

The agency reviewed reports and scientific publications, facilitated two expert meetings with the National Academies and interviewed officials from two agencies as part of the IoT study.

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