Increasing the Potential of IoT through Security and Transparency

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration, a federal incubator of national policy on technology issues, announced today that it is launching a multistakeholder process on Internet of Things (IoT) security, including "future security patches" for IoT devices (which include everything from cars to smart fridges and connected clothing to M2M devices).  Though it is a far cry from binding rules, NTIA activity on IoT could be influential: it seeks to foster "common definitions" so "consumers know what they are getting."  NTIA fears that companies "struggle to effectively communicate to consumers the security features of their devices," which NTIA says "is detrimental to the digital ecosystem as a whole, as it does not reward companies that invest in patching and it prevents consumers from making informed purchasing choices."

Innovators (and their suppliers, partners and retailers) should heed this effort. Hopefully it does not lead to regulation or onerous oversight.  But NTIA's work to define and shape IoT security may impact other agencies' efforts on IoT, mobility, and cyber.

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