Congress, Government Agencies Putting Focus on IoT

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2015-02-10 Print this article Print

In its report, the FTC agreed with others that it's too early in the development of the IoT for specific legislation, given how quickly the technology is evolving. However, commissioners are recommending laws regarding data security and breach notifications.

Given the broad impact the IoT will have on consumers and businesses, U.S. lawmakers say it's time Congress started to take a look at the issues. On Jan. 13, Reps. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., a former Microsoft executive, and Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Courts and the Internet, announced the creation of the Congressional Caucus on the Internet of Things. The goal of the caucus is to educate House members about the technology and public policy around the IoT, according to DelBene and Issa.

"Policymakers will need to be engaged and educated on how we can best protect consumers while also enabling these new technologies to thrive," DelBene said in a statement. "It's important that our laws keep up with technology and I look forward to co-chairing the IoT caucus."

Congress on Feb. 9 got another look at the potential benefits and dangers of an increasingly connected world. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., released a report indicating that while the automotive industry is rapidly adopting such wireless Internet access and Bluetooth, not enough attention has gone into securing the connected cars, putting safety and privacy at risk.

"Drivers have come to rely on these new technologies, but unfortunately the automakers haven't done their part to protect us from cyber-attacks or privacy invasions," Markey said in a statement. "Even as we are more connected than ever in our cars and trucks, our technology systems and data security remain largely unprotected."



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