EU WANTS TO STOP YOUR FRIDGE FROM GOSSIPING by Mathias Mølgaard

EU WANTS TO STOP YOUR FRIDGE FROM GOSSIPING

Mathias Mølgaard, September 17, 2014

mahm@itu.dk

 

For way too long, your fridge, your watch and your car has been running with gossip. EU wants to change that and set standards for what information your devices pass on.

Brussels yesterday: EU has agreed on an opinion stating that your different devices should be honest about what information they disclose to others in order to improve data protection of EU citizens.

The Internet of Things (IoT) connects our homes, cars, work environments and physical activities, all with great benefits for citizens in EU who rapidly adopt these new technologies. In the opinion, named article 29, adopted on September 16, it is stated that the rise of numerous interconnected IoT devices threaten protection of user data, described as a fundamental human right.

According to the report from the European Commision, specifically The Protection Working Party, IoT is associated with challenges related to both privacy and security. Many of these are related to the vulnerability of the devices which are often lacking sufficient security because they are not integrated into traditional IT structures. Data losses, digital infection and malware lead to unauthorized access to personal data and in some cases unlawful surveillance. The European Commission suggests that users should remain in complete control over their personal data throughout any product life cycle and encourage organizations to make sure that consent is fully informed, freely given and specific.

In order to help organizations meet these standards, the Protection Working Party has designed a comprehensive set of practical recommendations addressed to the different organizations involved in the development, production and maintenance of IoT devices. This will help them implement privacy and data protection in their products and services and preserve this throughout the product life cycle. In others words, your late-night conversations with the fridge should not be passed on – unless you agree upon it.

Sources: Opinion 8/2014 on the on Recent Developments on the Internet of Things Adopted on 16 September 2014.

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