Things to Regulate
In part two of this briefing on the internet of things, Ian Brown discusses the regulatory actions that could be necessary in this diverse technology sector.
The deployment of internet of things (IoT) systems, and their potential impact on individuals and businesses, raises regulatory issues – some familiar to telecoms regulators, such as licensing, spectrum management, standards systems, and their potential impact on individuals and businesses, raises regulatory issues – some familiar to telecoms regulators, such as licensing, spectrum management, standards
taken by other regulators, such as data protection, privacy and security. A 2013 European Commission consultation exercise found a diversity of views on whether IoT-specific regulation is necessary. Industry respondents argued that state intervention would be unwise in this young sector, and that general rules such as the EU’s forthcoming data protection regulation will suffice. Privacy advocacy groups and academics responded that IoT-specific regulation is needed to build public confidence, as well as to ensure a competitive market. Meanwhile, a US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff report suggested that IoT-specific legislation would be premature. It instead encouraged self- regulatory programmes for IoT industry sectors to improve privacy and security practices – while also reiterating the FTC’s previous call for “strong flexible, and technology-neutral federal legislation” to strengthen its ability to enforce wider data security standards and require consumer notification following a security breach, and for broad-based privacy legislation. I will now possible review actions taken by regulatory agencies that will enable the development and adoption of IoT systems in a way that should maximise their societal benefit.
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