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Building Trust 19 September 2019

IoT Privacy for Policymakers: Solutions Need Informed Discussion

Robin Wilton
By Robin WiltonSenior Advisor for Internet Trust

The consumer Internet of Things market is growing exponentially – one prediction suggests that people will be using 25 billion connected devices by 2021. These new products promise innovation and convenience, but they can also erode privacy boundaries and expose consumers to risk without their knowledge or consent. Is that a good bargain?

The policy brief “IoT Privacy for Policymakers” explores this question and more.

Do consumers have enough information and choice to make meaningful decisions? Do vendors and service providers have the opportunity and incentive to bring privacy-enhancing innovations to the market? Can the downsides of IoT be mitigated through policy actions – and if so, how?

IoT Privacy for Policymakers” explains the scope and nature of IoT privacy and the issues it raises. As ever, those issues are multi-party. They cross the boundaries of jurisdictions and sectoral regulations. There are no single-stakeholder solutions, so a multistakeholder approach is needed. Solutions need informed discussion that includes consumer rights, economic incentives, technical options, and regulatory measures. This paper is a positive step in that direction.

The policy brief also includes a “how to” on implementing Privacy by Design and four Guiding Principles and Recommendations:

  • Enhance User Control
  • Improve Transparency and Notification
  • Keep Pace with Technology
  • Strengthen the Multi-stakeholder Approach to IoT Privacy

Read “IoT Privacy for Policymakers” and find out how you can take steps to help safeguard privacy and trust in IoT.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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