i3 - March/April 2016 - 35

BY U.S. SENATORS CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), KELLY AYOTTE (R-NH),
BRIAN SCHATZ (D-HI), AND DEB FISCHER (R-NE)

G U E ST B LO G

Policy

POLICYMAKERS MUST LOOK AHEAD TO REALIZE
THE POTENTIAL OF THE INTERNET OF THINGS

T

here are more devices connected to the Internet today
path forward. And third, public policy must safeguard the public
than there are people living on Earth. From tracking
good and consumer protections while being mindful to avoid
fitness goals and teaching new languages, to helping
unnecessary regulatory barriers for innovators.
run small businesses, these devices are improving our
As Senators representing a geographically diverse collection
daily lives. Each of these Internet-connected items comprises a
of states-Hawaii, New Jersey, Nebraska and New Hamprapidly-expanding global network that connects people across
shire-we understand the near universal reach and potential
geographic borders, industries, and socio-economic backof the Internet of Things for the American economy. We also
grounds: the "Internet of Things."
recognize that in order for our country to compete in a global
The Internet of Things is only beginning to take flight-and
economy, we must develop a more comprehensive and robust
it has the potential to play a transformative role in
everything from modernizing healthcare to making
education more accessible. Every year, the number of
The federal government must take concrete
connected devices multiplies, and by 2020, it is estisteps in order to leverage the emerging
mated by IBM that there will be more than 50 billion
connected devices worldwide.
Internet of Things technologies for the
At the close of 2015, the Center for Data Innovabenefit of our country.
tion released a report that noted, "Just as the public
sector was instrumental in enabling the development
and deployment of the Internet, it must play a similar role to
national strategy that encourages development of the Internet
ensure the success of the Internet of Things." We could not agree
of Things and enable our government to be leaders in adopmore. Yet there remains a lack of impetus at the federal level
tion of these new tools. That is why we introduced and passed
to develop forward-facing public policies that keep pace with
a bipartisan resolution in the Senate last year, calling on the
developing technologies.
United States to develop a comprehensive strategy to spur
The federal government must take concrete steps in order to
growth of the Internet of Things. We also asked the Governleverage the emerging Internet of Things technologies for the
ment Accountability Office to conduct a study to identify steps
benefit of our country. In our work on advancing the Internet
the federal government can take to better pave the way for the
of Things, we have come to recognize three key principles that
growth of this worldwide network. We look forward to workwill help the United States reap the deep social and economic
ing with our colleagues in Congress and other stakeholders to
benefits of this new field of technology.
further these endeavors.
First, we must acknowledge that technology does not operAs the number of connected devices in America increases,
ate in a vacuum; it is woven into every facet of daily life, from
so will the need for comprehensive federal policies that balance
our cars to our workplaces to our schools, policies to enable or
stakeholder concerns with connectivity, innovation, security
regulate these technologies must reflect this perspective. Second,
and privacy concerns. We are excited about the positive impact
collaboration is imperative to growing the Internet of Things
the Internet of Things will have on our country and our world.
economy. Policymakers must develop solutions to our toughest
The future of innovative technologies and their potentially lifetech challenges with input from industry experts, academics,
changing applications in the United States is indeed bright-
and consumer interests to ensure that we create a well-balanced
policymakers need only look ahead.

C TA . t e c h / i 3

MARCH/APRIL 2016

35


https://www.datainnovation.org/ https://www.datainnovation.org/ http://www.CTA.tech/i3

i3 - March/April 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - March/April 2016

Contents
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