In its simplest form IoT connects devices to the internet and/or to one another. IoT can be found everywhere from “smart homes”, driverless cars and wearable devices or simply the smartphone.
It has a vast range of applications, creating opportunities in sectors as diverse as mining, retail, healthcare and construction.
IoT is increasingly at the interface of communications – between devices, amongst individuals, between customers and suppliers, and patients and their healthcare providers.
Data is at the heart of IoT, and it is fundamental to both the opportunities and the challenges it presents. In many cases, the data gathered will be more valuable than the IoT devices or solutions themselves, so it is important to avoid errors, omissions and data breaches.
IoT should be implemented using privacy by design, with attention paid to data provenance and protection, the permitted uses of datasets and third party information, and the relevance of open data. It is vital to carefully assess how your IoT device or network will collect and use personal information. The risks spike where sensitive information (such as health data) is involved. We can help you to navigate both privacy legislation and the medical devices and health records regulations that will apply.
Data is also often siloed within one business function or unit, which means that its value to the broader enterprise is not adequately captured. We can advise on when and how this information can be shared and used more effectively.
Beyond data, each IoT use case brings with it specific challenges. We provide bespoke advice on IoT strategies and their compliance with the applicable regulatory framework, including data protection and privacy, telecommunications and surveillance laws, cybersecurity and competition and consumer.
Commercially, we understand the value of the data collected and generated using IoT. We can help you safeguard the data you obtain, and where possible, restrict undesirable use by others. The security mechanisms you choose and deploy to protect personal information are critical cornerstones of your IoT strategy. Similarly, it’s important to get contractual protections right. We tailor your key contracts in order to secure the data you collect – robust confidentiality, intellectual property and liability regimes are essential.