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techUK publishes trust principles for IoT



Transparency, interoperability and cyber security figure in guidelines for industry in building the internet of things

IT industry association techUK has published a trust framework aimed at bolstering the public’s confidence in the internet of things (IoT).

Titled Trust Principles in an IoT World, they are aimed at companies developing the technology but could strengthen the foundation for public authorities’ efforts to use it in the development of smart places.

Many local authorities in particular are starting to invest in, or at least investigate the potential of sensors and internet connected devices to support the more efficient management of their localities; but there are concerns about the security and integrity of the data that is exchanged in the process.

techUK said the IoT can be used in providing better health services and cleaner and safer public spaces, but that there is a need to ensure the public is comfortable with the technology.

Three priorities

The document highlights three issues to be taken into account. First is data transparency and customer empowerment, with assumption that people have rights over their personal data when it is collected as part of the technology’s operation.

It advocates handling the data in line with the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation, promoting privacy and helping end users to distinguish categories of data that are personal or sensitive.

Second is the need for interoperability, enabling customers of services driven by the IoT to switch easily and to move their data easily.

Third is to provide adequate protection against cyber attack by promoting security by design in all products and services, and complying with any regulatory requirements. There is also a need for strategies to preserve security and limit loss when data breaches or corruption occur.

Digital and Culture Minister Matt Hancock gave his support to the initiative, saying the principles will help to provide more security around the IoT, and techUK’s chief executive officer Julian David (pictured) said they show the industry takes concerns about data, consent and transparency seriously.

“They are the start of the conversation rather the end and they offer a solid framework for future discussion,” he said. “I believe that these principles will help ensure the internet of things has a smooth transition from theory to reality.”

The document emphasises that it includes nothing intended to create any new legally binding commitments.

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