The question of how to protect Internet of Things (IoT) data is puzzling experts everywhere. This type of data is not currently regulated, and some people believe that it should be.

Anything with a Central Processing Unit (CPU) produces data. Computers, smartphones, tablets, and the new wearable devices all create data. All of this data gets collected somewhere. But it is uncertain who should be given permission to access this data.

Studies predict that there will be more than 60 billion data-producing devices worldwide by 2020.

While data collected from computers and personal smartphones is subject to some regulation, data collected from IoT devices is still unregulated.

Internet of Things refers to anything that is assigned an IP address and transfers data across a network. Usually it is associated with machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. IoT devices are often called “smart”, such as smart meters and smartphones.

Regulators are having a challenging time figuring out how to regulate data that comes from IoT devices.

For instance, smart meters collect data regarding the usage of water, electricity, and gas in a personal home. This data can be sent through a WiFi network. However, it is unknown who this data belongs to and who should have the right to access it.

Some argue that the data should belong to the person who generated the data, in this case, the homeowner. However, many people don’t know that they have the right to access this data. And even if they do, the process of accessing it is so troublesome that the vast majority of people would simply give up.

As a result, the data should available through a network that is accessible to customers rather than a private server that only the company running the smart meters is able to access.

Privacy becomes a major concern when determining the accessibility of data. It also becomes debatable as to when data can be deleted and permanently forgotten because you never know if someone will want to access it later.

In today’s day and age, safeguarding digital information is more important than ever before. However, making people unable to access data regarding their own lives is also the incorrect solution. Technology needs to find the appropriate balance in letting people know what is relevant to them, while also preventing security breaches that could jeopardize someone’s well-being.

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