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U.K. Science Advisor Outlines IoT Recommendations in Aeris Visit

Sir_Mark_Walport_(8656569975)With the transformative potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) becoming increasingly apparent, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron asked the governments Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Mark Walport to make recommendations to ensure that the U.K. will take a leadership role in IoT.

Walport recentlyvisited Aeris to discuss his report, The Internet of Things: Making the Most of the Second Digital Revolution.

Walport told Aeris executives that the report seeks to strike a balance between encouraging innovation and taking into consideration privacy and security issues that arise when a billion devices are connected to the Internet and transmit information.

The U.K. government is committed to trying to facilitate an environment in which the private sector, which is the dominant player in this, will find it easy to work in. And it also needs to be an environment in which many players can thrive rather being the domain of one or two gigantic companies, Walport said. So our aim is pluralism.

Walport said privacy and security issues cant be avoided with such a far-reaching technology. The discussion on the subject is underway and will continue to address the balance between freedom and security, he said citing as an example, the collection of data from truck fleets.

You can argue the case from both sides, Walport said. You can argue that in an era when you can hold this information, that its actually a powerful law enforcement tool, or on the other side of it, that truck firms are basically watching their drivers in a big brother fashion. You can record whether people are driving too long, too fast or if they take the day off. If you like the terms of service and you want to be a truck driver, thats the deal you sign up to.

In his report, Walport sets out a series of recommendations for the government to take action to facilitate IoT development, including:

  • Working with experts to develop a roadmap for IoT infrastructure.

  • Collaborating with other IoT players to maximize connectivity, by among other things, selling licensed spectrum for IoT.

  • Developing standards to promote interoperability, openness to new markets and security against cybercrime and terrorism.

  • Encouraging development of open APIs.

  • Developing a model for regulation where needed.

  • Ensuring the UKs Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure and the Communications and Electronics Security Group create best practices for security and privacy.

The ultimate goal of the report, Walport said, is to help ensure the U.K. government can guide IoT in its path forward. The idea is not a lot of legislation, Walport said, but to fit the purpose proportionately.