While the broader issues of consumer privacy and data security remain hot topics, Congress and government enforcers have focused particular zeal on emerging technologies. Just this week, the Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution calling for the development of “a strategy to incentivize the development of the Internet of Things.” The resolution recognizes that the Internet of Things “has the potential to generate trillions of dollars in economic opportunity,” and that “increased connectivity can empower consumers.” It then suggests stimulating the development of the Internet of Things “in a way that recognizes its benefits and allows for future innovation, and responsibly protects against misuse.” The resolution also acknowledges the importance of industry-developed best practices and calls on innovators to “commit to improving the quality of life for future generations by developing safe, new technologies aimed at tackling the most challenging societal issues facing the world.”
Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced the resolution in early March following a recent hearing on Internet of Things issues before the Senate Commerce Committee, as well as the release of the FTC’s Internet of Things report in January. The resolution is not legislation and does not carry the force of law. However, the continued focus and activity on this issue could suggest that new legislation to promote and/or regulate the Internet of Things is forthcoming. We will post any new updates on this blog, so be sure to check back regularly.