Internet Of Things (IoT) Technologies And Techno Legal Issues

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    B Singh
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    Internet of Things (IoT) is an inter connected world of information and communication technology (ICT) driven and controlled devices, systems, hardware, software, telecommunication infrastructure, etc. The core objective of IoT is to ensure automation through advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services that goes beyond machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and covers a variety of protocols, domains, and applications. 

    IoT to be successful must ensure fast, reliable and accurate data gathering, storing and analysis so that better results can be achieved. The year 2016 witnessed a remarkable growth in the IoT filed due to convergence of multiple technologies, including ubiquitous wireless communication, real-time analytics, machine learning, commodity sensors, and embedded systems. This growth could not have been possible without the ground work that the traditional fields of embedded systems, wireless sensor networks, control systems, automation (including home and building automation) and others had undertaken to enable the IoT.

    IoT has been integrated with Internet and this could mean that the IoT device/system would use an IP Address specifically allotted to it. As IPv4 is already saturated, IoT would rely more upon IPv6. IoT would not only ensure sensory functions but it would also assist in actuation capabilities i.e. bulbs or locks controlled over the Internet. As a result, the global adoption of IPv6 in future will be critical for the successful development of the IoT. 

    The ability to network embedded devices with limited CPU, memory and power resources means that IoT can be used virtually for every field. For instance, IoT products can be used for smart wearable, smart home, smart city, smart environment, smart enterprise, etc. The IoT products and solutions in each of these markets have different specifications, characteristics and technical requirements.  

    There are many technologies that enable IoT. Crucial to the field is the network used to communicate between devices of an IoT installation, a role that several wireless and/or wired technologies accomplish. IoT can be tested in a simulation environment before being fully deployed and implemented. 

    There are certain techno legal compliance that every IoT product and service provider must comply with. These include compliance with the legal and regulatory requirements of cyber law, privacy laws, data protection laws, cyber security laws, etc. In the Indian context, regulatory compliance for IoT companies and service providers have been well articulated. The Techno Legal Startups and Entrepreneurship Trends of India 2017 is an interesting read in this regard. 

    There is no single legal framework for the diverse IoT fields and every IoT field has to be analysed keeping in mind the specific and specialised laws applicable to it. However, cyber law due diligence (pdf) is one aspect that is common among all IoT activities and services provided by the IoT startups and entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, almost all of the IoT startups and entrepreneurs are not complying with these techno legal regulatory compliance requirements of Indian laws. Not only this, most of these startups and entrepreneurs consider legal compliance as an unnecessary cost factor. 

    Privacy, data protection and cyber security related regulatory issues are also required to be complied with by IoT products and service providers. However, there are no clear and well specified standards on these fields and till now IoT companies and businesses have not paid much attention to these techno legal regulatory compliance. This is applicable to both national and international IoT stakeholders.

    Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) has been working in the direction of formulating techno legal regulatory compliance for national and international IoT stakeholders. 

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