This morning, I read a fascinating compilation of thoughts on IoT in the Brookings Institution’s TECHTANK newsletter. What caught my eye first was the title, “Alternate Perspectives on Internet of Things.” The article is a series of brief opinions by six Brookings fellows.
The six fellows include DARRELL M. WEST, vice president and director of Governance Studies and founding director of the Center for Technology Innovation, SUSAN HENNESSEY, a Fellow in National Security in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, SCOTT ANDES is a senior policy analyst and associate fellow at the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking, a part of the Centennial Scholar Initiative at the Brookings Institution. WALTER D. VALDIVIA, a fellow in the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings, ADIE TOMER, a fellow at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program and a member of the Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative, and finally, NIAM YARAGHI, a fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation
Here’s a summary of the most interesting findings:
The Internet of Things Will Be Everywhere
The coming 5G wireless telecommunications network will accelerate the spread of IoT capabilities to a wider range of devices and applications. In particular, Mr. West believes IoT will help people better address everyday challenges like staying on top of our fitness programs, finding parking spaces and avoiding traffic jams. It will also greatly enhance the efficiency of smart grids and healthcare delivery.
IoT Creates Implications for Security
IoT has the potential to help law enforcement dig through vast amounts of data to find information on potential criminal activity. Ms. Hennessey also notes that Congress and courts will have to determine the laws that enable this type of surveillance while concurrently protecting citizen’s rights and privacy.
Benefits of IoT Will Vary/u>
The U.S. may not be the prime beneficiary of IoT potential – advanced manufacturing nations like Germany might be better able to tap IoT’s capabilities. Mr. Andes advises that U.S. policy makers should view IoT as part of a global economic race grounded in sound science policies – supporting basic engineering research, enabling that research to reach the market, aiding entrepreneurs’ access to capital and training the workforce to better utilize new technologies.
IoT Will Democratize Innovation
Walter Valdivia believes there needs to be a macrovision for the role of IoT and that this is lacking today. He states that “cheerleaders” and “worrywarts” who proselytize and criticize IoT, respectively, are really arguing two sides of the same coin.
Leadership is Necessary to Maximize IoT Benefits in Urban Environments
For urban settings to benefit from the IoT potential of reducing congestion, improving the environment, et al., leaders must set clear economic, social and environmental objectives for IoT deployments. Simply fitting cities with more sensors to collect data won’t address today’s congestion and other issues. Mr. Tomer notes.
IoT Will Improve Heathcare Efficiency and Delivery, but Caution Is Necessary around Privacy and Security
IoT in healthcare can reduce medical redundancies and mistakes, but that healthcare industry leaders must address privacy and security around sensitive healthcare data. Mr. Yaraghi recommends healthcare leaders create a policy framework that precisely defines who owns what data, who can collect, store, mine and use it, and outlines specific penalties for those who breach these policies.
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