Commerce Pushes Global Efforts to Grow Internet of Things

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By Alexis Kramer

The Department of Commerce will continue to engage with governments, the private sector and civil society to promote cross-border data flows and the development of global standards for internet-connected devices, the agency said in a green paper issued Jan. 12.

The agency said it plans to continue international dialogue to boost connectivity, remove barriers to digital information and encourage the private sector to lead technology-neutral standards development in order to promote an environment where the internet of things can flourish.

“The Internet of Things promises to revolutionize our world from increasing efficiency and convenience for industry, consumers, and government to improving safety,” Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said in a statement. “Today’s report affirms the Department’s commitment to creating the conditions for emerging technologies to thrive, and it identifies future actions necessary to support the evolution and expansion of the IoT.”

The internet of things, from sensor-controlled thermostats to connected vehicles, is estimated to generate up to $11 trillion by 2025, according to a McKinsey Global Institute report. As these technologies continue to evolve, however, a number of issues concerning interoperability, cybersecurity and access to data may pose challenges to their expansion, according to the report.

Commerce issued the report eight days before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

The report reflects public comments solicited by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in April 2016 on the challenges posed by the internet of things and potential roles for the government in addressing those challenges. The NTIA is seeking additional input on whether any issues were missing from the report, whether Commerce’s approach is comprehensive, and the next steps that Commerce should take. Public comments will be due Feb. 27.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexis Kramer in Washington at aKramer@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at kperine@bna.com

For More Information

The green paper is available at http://src.bna.com/lnM.The request for comments is available at http://src.bna.com/lnL.

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