Facing The IoT's Regulatory, Security And Privacy Risks

By Rebecca Eisner, Joseph Pennell and Nickolas Card (July 19, 2017, 12:05 PM EDT) -- Internet of things (IoT)-compatible devices have been widely implemented over the last five years and growth in the segment is almost certain to continue. Cisco estimates that the number of connected devices will increase from 16 billion (as of 2015) to 26 billion by 2025.[1] This development has been highly visible in the consumer goods sector, with widespread adoption of activity trackers from companies such as Fitbit and smart thermostats from Nest, Honeywell and others. Use of IoT by businesses for business is increasing dramatically as well. With data becoming one of the most valuable corporate assets for any business, smart devices are adding to the treasure trove. These data allow businesses to monitor functions, spot patterns and trends, and more deeply analyze factors relevant to their operations. IoT sensors serve as the eyes and ears of many corporations. Smart devices collect and analyze data in order to manage inventory, monitor equipment for maintenance purposes and optimize utility usage, among other functions. Current legal and regulatory efforts have largely focused on consumer use of IoT, but businesses that use IoT for internal purposes should also pay careful attention to these trends. This article discusses the current legal and regulatory landscape for IoT and data collected through IoT systems, particularly for business (versus consumer) uses and applications, and also addresses cybersecurity, privacy, employee and other risks....

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