After Baby Monitors Hacked, FTC Penalizes TRENDnet
According to The New York Times, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is penalizing a company for selling baby monitors that were vulnerable to hacking. TRENDnet had apparently told their customers, mainly families, that their home security cameras and baby monitors were "secure." However, their unfortunately unsecure devices were compromised, evidenced by a hacker who exploited a security flaw in the monitors last year.
This hacker not only broke into the SecurView camera software, but the security thwarter also posted links to live feeds taken directly from the cameras. These feeds displayed adults, in their homes, going about their daily routines, babies sleeping in their rooms, and children playing.
The FTC states, in their complaint, that TRENDnet transmitted its customers' login information in readable text, as opposed to using a proper way to encrypt the data. TRENDnet's mobile app also allegedly did not properly protect their users' information.
TRENDnet's punishment includes a 20-year security compliance auditing program. Additionally, the company has promised not to misrepresent the security of their cameras, break the confidentiality of the content that the devices transmit, or compromise TRENDnet consumers' ability to control the security of the cameras and their recordings.
While the FTC doesn't have any legal authority to impose fines in this case, TRENDnet has agreed to a consent order prohibiting similar practices. reports The New York Times. This means that the agency's commissioners will have the ability to seek penalties in the future, in case of more violations.
Protect Yourself and Your Little One(s)
While baby monitor hacking may be rare, you still want to ensure that it doesn't happen in your home, period. This is especially true if you have an infant or a toddler, whose privacy and even safety could be at risk. If you own any type of security camera, baby monitor, or general monitoring device, make sure you take the proper steps to protect yourself, such as:
- Ensuring you have a password set. Remember, without a password, anyone can use your wireless network and crack into your networked data and personal information.
- Use WPA2. In other words, use Wi-Fi Protected Access 2, which has strong encryption standards.
- Make sure your password is unique. Remember, the more complicated and difficult a password is to predict, the better.
- Change your password often. This is not only a standard practice, but it will help to ensure that you stay protected in the long term.
If you or your child happen to run into any trouble with your baby monitor or security camera at home, you should definitely alert the police and/or meet with an experienced attorney.
- U.S. says security camera maker settles over hacking incidents (Reuters)
- Online Safety Resources (FindLaw)
- Baby Monitor Recall: 2 Deaths Linked to Summer Infant Monitors (FindLaw's CommonLaw)
- Are 'Nanny Cams' Legal? (FindLaw's Blotter)