The European Commission (EC) has launched a public consultation, closing on 12 July 2012, on rules for wirelessly connected devices, the "Internet of Things" (IoT).
The IoT is a future in which everyday objects such as phones, cars, household appliances, clothes and even food are wirelessly connected to the Internet through smart chips, and can collect and share data.
The EC wants to know what framework is needed to unleash the potential economic and societal benefits of the IoT, whilst ensuring an adequate level of control of the devices gathering, processing and storing information. The information concerned includes users' behavioural patterns, location and preferences. Society's acceptance of the IoT requires the definition of an ethical and legal framework, supported by technology and providing people with control and security.
Through the consultation, and with the goal of ensuring that the rights of individuals are respected, the Commission is seeking views on privacy, safety and security, security of critical IoT supported infrastructure, ethics, interoperability, governance and standards. The results of the consultation will feed into the Commission's Recommendation on the IoT, which will be presented by summer 2013.
Boosting the IoT is a priority for the Digital Agenda for Europe