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Explore the relationship between IoT governance and privacy

Emerging industry standards and regulations -- coupled with technologies like AI -- will underscore the importance of IoT governance and privacy in the years to come.

Many IoT devices collect, store and share personal data. This makes it critical for organizations to prioritize IoT governance as a way to direct and impose privacy practices for smart devices.

Looking ahead, business and IT leaders should understand how new privacy standards and regulations, as well as technologies like AI and fog computing, will shape the IoT governance landscape.

IoT governance, privacy go hand in hand

In general, governance refers to the rules, controls, regulations and policies that direct the operation of an organization. Specific forms of governance include informational, financial, medical, legal, risk management and regulatory. IoT governance, specifically, focuses on IoT devices and applications. IoT data governance emphasizes data and data assets as crucial elements in IoT devices.

It is imperative that organizations apply governance to IoT devices, applications and data, but just as importantly, governance is needed to regulate IoT user privacy. For example, governance is essential for IoT medical devices to sustain human life, while privacy is needed to protect a patient's data, categorized as protected health information. Enterprise leaders and admins must understand the significance of IoT data privacy to protect their strategic operations.

Continuity, consistency and cooperation underpin IoT governance. Without these factors, poor data governance can hamper regulatory compliance, as well as adherence to data privacy and protection laws. Governance is a leadership function, and IoT governance depends on astute leaders with the knowledge and drive to ensure users' digital privacy and security through regulatory influence.

Standards and laws related to IoT governance

Various standards bodies promulgate, develop and coordinate technical standards to ensure the safety of IoT device users.

Standards bodies discovered a need for IoT governance based on the lack of data privacy in IoT applications. Additionally, governance regulations are embedded in longstanding security and privacy rules. For instance, NIST developed the Federal Information Processing Standards related to computer security and the processing of censored data. Further, NIST Internal Report 8295 is focused on setting standards for mobile radio operators over broadband for the purpose of data sharing with 911 dispatchers and first responders.

Other standards groups and/or regulations that apply to IoT devices include Internet Engineering Task Force, Regional Internet Registry, information security operations center, IEEE, HIPAA and GDPR.

Enterprises with IoT deployments must be familiar with these standards and regulations. More importantly, they must understand the role data governance plays in compliance with them. In particular, organizations should focus on the privacy protection of IoT users, devices and data to thwart potential attackers and minimize the risk of data breaches.

What's next for IoT governance

Looking ahead, there's likely to be a growing emphasis on how the government can protect IoT data.

Expect new regulations related to IoT privacy for devices, data, consumers and the industry as a whole. Some U.S. states have already developed IoT security legislation. Expect more states to follow suit, especially as consumers demand privacy laws. In addition, there will be growing demand for IoT devices and storage systems with embedded privacy and security technologies. The secure storage of personal data will be of key importance.

Further, AI and machine learning will play an increasing role in IoT. Telemetry will become essential, as organizations automate the recording and transmission of data from remote sources.

Lastly, with the proliferation of IoT devices and human connectedness to multiple remote services, fog computing will only increase and accompany cloud computing. Simultaneously, edge computing will become more essential to process time-sensitive data in businesses and government organizations.

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