UNITED STATES -- Charges have been settled for a marketing company that failed to protect consumer's privacy after monitoring cameras were hacked and posted online, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Hundreds of camera feeds from home security and baby monitoring systems were hacked and posted to the web. TRENDnet settled with the FTC, which charged the company over its lax security practices which exposed hundreds of people's lives for public viewing on the Internet.
The FTC complaint alleges that TRENDnet claimed its marketed SecurView cameras for security and baby monitoring where 'secure,' but the cameras had faulty software which left them open for online viewing. The complaint also alleged that anyone with the camera's Internet address would be able to view or listen-in online.
In the FTC's complaint, it also alleged from April 2010 the company failed to use reasonable security to design and test the software, which included settings for the camera's password requirements. This resulted in hundreds of consumer's private feeds to be made public over the Internet. In January 2012 a hacker posted links to live feeds of nearly 700 cameras. In those videos displayed babies could be seen sleeping in their cribs, young children playing and other adults going about their daily lives, according to the complaint. After TRENDnet found out about the hacking it uploaded a software patch which alerted customers to visit the website and update their cameras.
Also in the complaint, the FTC alleged from April 2010, TRENDnet sent user login credentials in readable text over the Internet and its mobile applications stored consumers's login information in clear, readable text on mobile devices.
In the settlement terms made with the Federal Trade Commission, TRENDnet is prohibited from misrepresenting its security cameras or the security, privacy, confidentiality, or integrity of information transmitted from its cameras or other devices. The company is also banned from misrepresenting how much the consumer can control the security of information the camera and devices store, capture, transmit or access.
TRENDnet also need to create an information security program that addresses security risks that could result in unauthorized access to company devices and its information. Under the settlement the company is also required to get third-party assessments of its security programs every two years over the next 20 years.
TRENDnet will also have to notify all its customers of the security issues with the cameras and provide customers with the technical support to update or fix them.
The Federal Trade Commission works to prevent fraud, deceptive, and unfair business practices to provide information stop it and avoid it from happening again.
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