Consumers’ poor understanding of these risks led Federal Trade Commission to publicly put the IoT industry on notice to do a better job in a keynote speech at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez urged IoT manufacturers to ‘Design for Privacy’, educating consumers about privacy issues, protecting consumer data, and notifying consumers when data breaches occur.
Inspired by the FTC’s call for industry-wide solutions, PrivacyCheq created Privacynq, a unique cloud-based privacy notice service for the IoT sphere. “We listened to the FTC and took the approach that a complete rethink of the classic ‘privacy notice’ was required. The Privacynq Privacy Brief is written from the perspective of the consumer in a language they can understand, answering the questions they really need answered. One unusual aspect of this new perspective is that we start by explaining the benefits the customer will get from the use of the product, and the reasons private data is captured,” says Roy Smith, CEO of PrivacyCheq.
As the firm’s flagship IoT product, Privacynq is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that leverages Amazon Web Services and provides an easily understood privacy and security briefing of IoT devices to users. It demystifies IoT privacy and security with easy-to-understand language and graphics that self-optimize to the device used by the consumer - smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. “Privacynq can be easily used at the point of purchase, at home, or integrated into product dashboard software,” says Smith.
Privacynq helps build digital trust with clear disclosure of information to the consumers, creating synchronization between the IoT consumers and manufacturers
Another privacy enhancing solution from the firm is AgeCheq, a cloud-based service that facilitates compliance with the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (known as COPPA)for app, web, and game developers. When Quirky, a crowdfunding developer of gadgets, needed to comply with COPPA guidelines in order for their site to legally accept product ideas from children, they turned to AgeCheq. Within six weeks of partnering with PrivacyCheq, Quirky was online and compliant with COPPA guidelines. With numerous such success stories, Smith says, “We differ from others as we identify the problems faced by big industries and provide solutions by building innovative technologies.”
As for the future, PrivacyCheq has further privacy enhancing technologies lined-up for the IoT industry, which will be introduced in 2016. Furthermore, the adoption of the updated Data Protection Directive in the European Union will provide huge opportunities for the company. “As a first mover, the goal of PrivacyCheq is to price the solutions in such a way that our services become ubiquitous,” concludes Smith.