US IoT Policy Is (Finally) Moving Forward. What’s Next?

What’s Next for US IoT Policy?

The US Department of Commerce recently exercised the first step in developing formal governmental policies on technology after publishing the green paper on the Internet of Things (IoT). Regarding their previous public request for comments, the green paper aims to address the following;

  • What most companies, individual stakeholders, and advocacy groups said regarding the key issues that were surrounding IoT,
  • The role the federal government should adopt, and
  • The opportunities and drawbacks for policymakers to consider (regarding tech itself and the regulation thereof).

Outstanding Issues

The paper points the direction in which the IoT market is going. The following issues are however conspicuous;

  • Less is more – The US government was advised to resist over-regulating, and the DoC appears to agree, choosing the term “fostering advancement” to describe its goal.
  • Nothing new here – Whereas the IoT guarantees unparalleled possibilities, existing processes and systems should be sufficient to handle arising challenges
  • Audience participation – In general, the DoC is focusing on a multistakeholder approach to policymaking and will follow suit with IoT legislation. Anyone who chooses to comment will be considered, so it’s important for industry experts to advocate intelligently.
  • Semantics: Obviously, IoT is a really broad category. The paper attempts to define IoT (“an umbrella term to reference the technological development in which a greatly increasing number of devices are connected to one another and/or to the Internet”) and suggests sub-categorizing different types of devices.
  • Bureaucratic woes – “Coordination among US government partners would be helpful.” True words.
  • IPv6 – Advancement requires better infrastructure. The DoC promises they’ll, well, get around to it. Hopefully, more specifics to follow.

Got opinions?

The green paper includes another request for comments, which will be reviewed before it’s developed into a formal “white paper.” They are particularly focused on four areas of engagement:

  • Encouraging markets
  • Enabling access and availability of infrastructure
  • Promoting Standards and Technology Advancement
  • Building Coalitions and Crafting Balanced Policy

You have until April to respond.

Source: The Register

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