The Department of Commerce (DOC) will recommend policy to support a stable and trustworthy Internet of Things (IoT) environment, according to a green paper the agency released on Jan. 12.

The green paper outlines the agency’s approach to advancing the IoT landscape, which, according to the report, has “the potential to benefit public safety, health care, governance, the environment and improve the daily lives of workers and consumers.”

The report, created by DOC’s Internet Policy Task Force and Digital Economy Leadership Team, includes four principles that will guide the agency’s future IoT activities. In addition to advocating for policy that results in a secure IoT ecosystem, DOC pledges to ensure that the IoT environment is widely available to consumers, offers a globally connected platform driven by industry leaders, and caters to an expansive market.

These goals rely on a strong communications infrastructure and collaboration among Federal agencies, academics, and private sector companies, the green paper states.

“In addressing the Internet of Things, the obvious challenge the government faces is: How do you protect consumers without stifling innovation?” said David Damato, chief security officer (CSO) at Tanium, a company that provides endpoint services for many government agencies. “The report clearly recognizes the need for this balance. One of the key solutions here is simple: transparency. The government should create a label for IoT devices that clearly communicates the device’s security level, based on a verified third-party test and a set of sector-specific metrics. This puts the power in the hands of the consumer, giving them the information they need to make an informed decision, while not hindering manufacturers with over-burdensome regulations.”

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Eleanor Lamb
Eleanor Lamb
Eleanor Lamb is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Big Data, FITARA, Homeland Security, Education, Workforce Issues, and Civilian Agencies.