BCS calls on parties to understand the implications of the internet of things

17 September 2014

With the UK government announcing that it will spend an extra £45m on developing "internet of things" technology, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT is calling for a discussion of the future impact of the internet of things; the inherent challenges and risks, and issues of governance.

A recent survey by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT found that 82% of respondents feel that consumers should have the opportunity to opt out of an internet of things solution and 68% have concerns about privacy in connection with the internet of things.

David Evans, Membership Director, explains: “The Internet of Things is a very exciting technological evolution, where capability and - more importantly - unit costs enable an explosion of sensors and other devices talking to each other and collecting data. Like any technology shift, there are opportunities and risks for the public. The opportunities are overwhelming, but the long term implications for privacy, security and personal freedom are unclear. The main message for the political parties is that they need to get to grips with the issues, developing a vision for what matters in the digital age.”

To examine the implications of the Internet of Things (IoT) for society, businesses and Government, the Institute is hosting fringe events at both the Labour and Conservative autumn party conferences entitled “Internet of Things: Benefits vs Privacy”.

The events will see panellists discussing:

  • How will the IoT drive a more rational market for investment and jobs? As tech companies offer an increasing number of solutions that simplify our daily lives and lead to modified behaviours, what does that translate to in real societal benefits of cost savings and increased efficiencies for both consumers and government?
  • As we surrender more of our everyday lives to IoT technology, what are the privacy implications and security risks? Are people fully aware of the implications of IoT and the related collecting, storage, and sharing of data?
  • The regulatory challenges behind the IoT. How can government and industry address the fundamental security and privacy issues, ensuring that consumer rights are protected whilst innovation is not stifled?

Confirmed panellists for the Labour Party Conference: 

Monday 22 September, 17:30 until 18:45, Central 5, Manchester Central

  • Chair Tony Grew, Parliamentary Editor, Politics Home @ayestotheright
  • Chi Onwurah MP, Co-Chair, Internet and Communications Technology All-Party Group (Shadow Minister for Cabinet Office) @ChiOnwurah
  • Helen Goodman MP, Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport @HelenGoodmanMP
  • David Evans, Membership Director, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

Follow event on #lab14, #IoT, @DodsEvents @BCS_policy

The panellists for the Conservative Party Conference:  

Monday 29 September, 12:30 - 14:00, Hall 10B, The ICC, Birmingham

  • Chair Paul Waugh, Editor in Chief, The House Magazine and Politics Home @paulwaugh
  • Rt. Hon. Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, with responsibility for digital industries @edvaizey
  • David Evans, Membership Director, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

Follow the event on Twitter: Conservative on #cpc14, #IoT, @DodsEvents @BCS_policy

Further information can be found at: www.bcs.org/policyhub

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