Future of the Internet of things: Innovative funding at the heart of IoT

Written by Jessie Duncan on 26 November 2015 in Feature

Societal Impact of IoT potentially 'transformational' conference told

The impact of the internet of things (IoT) on consumers and wider society was the topic of two keynote speeches at a conference in Brussels on Thursday

Frederic Donck, the regional director for Europe of Information Society (ISOC), an organisation that aims to maintain the internet as an open platform, focused on some of the key questions that IoT poses to internet security.

Donck called for a holistic and multi-stakeholder approach to tackling the security challenges that IoT poses saying, "The internet is so important, not one stakeholder can manage it".

He outlined some of the possible impacts of IoT on consumers' security and privacy as well as possible regulatory changes that could have an impact on the manufacturers of devices using IoT technology.

“We need a new way to consider risk and security”, he said. “It isn't just about inward risk to my device, but also outward risk and the fact that my device may be used as an entry point”.

One impact on regulation could be that manufacturers are held responsible for the level of security of a device, he said. This would be along the lines of a 'Polluter Pays Principle', he added.

Donck closed by encouraging participants to refer to the recent Internet Society report which explores the issues in more detail. “There are so many challenges” he said “and collaboration is the only way”.

Jacqui Taylor the CEO of FlyingBinery, a web science company based in the UK said it approached the IoT as a way of enabling societal change through citizen participation and a new trust and privacy model.

“Our focus is on the societal impact of IoT and citizens' curation of that change” she said.

She highlighted to conference participants several different policy applications of IoT from reforming national health Systems to education policy. “IoT is transformational across many sectors”, she said.

Speaking about a new initiative around Smart Cities Taylor described data as an “asset” that can be used to improve the lives of a city.

Innovative funding models are also at the heart of IoT, she said, describing a recent collaboration with Hollywood investors that aims to do “game-changing” work in the health sector in the US.

The conference was organised by the Digital Enlightenment Forum, Huawei and The Parliament Magazine.

About the author

Jessie Duncan is a freelance writer

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