FTC considers privacy threats from everyday devices

People can already use their smartphones to open car doors, adjust their thermostat or have their vital signs remotely monitored by a doctor. In a few years, a consumer approaching a grocery store might have his refrigerator remind him that he is out of milk, the commission wrote. 

The FTC asked for input on how smart devices can defend against computer viruses and whether there should be restrictions on their ability to collect and share personal information.

Edith Ramirez, the new chairwoman of the FTC, announced that she planned to investigate the privacy risks of Internet-connected devices during a discussion at a conference last month.