What Policy Change Would Accelerate the Benefits of the Internet of Things? (IoT)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8zvkWWcUdA?rel=0]

McKinsey Global Institute:

Joi Ito: It gets back to open standards, interoperability, and a focus on non-IP-encumbered technology.

Jon Bruner: Everyone is looking for clarification on the rules on drones.

Renee DiResta: I don’t know that I feel that policy is really impeding anything right now. Maybe I’m wrong about that. I read through the FCC1 report and didn’t get the sense that there was anything [holding back the IoT] on a fundamental policy level.

Mark Hatch: Maybe it’s bandwidth-related: How do we handle the frequency and the radio waves and all the telecommunication requirements? This is a Qualcomm Technologies question maybe, along with the FCC. I may be completely wrong on that, but it’s one of the things I am curious about. How do you handle all of the communication data flow that’s going on and keep things from running into one another?

Mike Olson: The globe doesn’t have a data-privacy policy. Europe does broadly, but not in detail. In the United States, we have precisely two data-privacy laws: HIPAA,2 which protects your healthcare data, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Those are the only things that happen nationwide in terms of data privacy. Everything else is left to the states, and the states are pretty clueless about it. If we could elucidate policies and create laws that were uniform, it would be a lot easier for us to build and deploy these systems.

Dan Kaufman: If I had to guess, it’s the ability of people to protect their information. The Internet of Things is based on this fundamental ability to share information, and if we can’t do that in a safe and secure way, we’re going to need policies and laws so that everybody understands what’s within reason.

Cory Doctorow: I would reform the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the 1998 statute whose language prohibits the circumvention of digital locks. I think with one step, we could make the future a better place. Ironically, the US Trade Representative has actually gone to all of America’s trading partners and gotten them to pass their own version of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. So, every country in the world is liable to this problem. Now, the great news is that if the US stops enforcing it here, then all of those other countries will very quickly follow suit, because there’s money to be made in circumvention. The only reason to put a digital lock on is to extract maximum profits from your platform.

Tim O’Reilly: To me, policy makers need to not be trying to prevent the future from happening. They should be just policing bad actors. A good example is in healthcare. We are already producing vast reams of health data. HIPAA, the health-information privacy act, is a real obstacle. If you have a serious illness, you want to share your data with anybody who can help. You want to put your data together with other people’s data, because this collective amassing of data is one of the great keys to the future. And yet here we have these overreaching privacy laws that are going to make it difficult. So, punish bad actors—don’t prevent good actors.