University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-118
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Law and Information Technology
Volume26
Issue2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2018

Abstract

The Internet of Things (IoT) depicts a world of networked smart objects, including cars, home appliances and wearable devices, which all require ‘interoperability’ to be used with seamless communication and data exchange. Interoperability will not be successfully achieved unless IoT users are pre-empted from being locked into specific (eg proprietary) ecosystems. Enabling IoT interoperability requires a comprehensive approach that does not just depend on standardization and intellectual property policies, which often end up being fragmented, diverse and niche solutions. Focusing on the EU toolbox, this study elaborates on the pertinent legal rules, precedents and selfregulatory mechanisms, and ultimately finds that existing measures are far from effective, coherent and forward-looking. Addressing this problem requires a policy making strategy based on a balance struck between IoT standardization and innovation, which suggests finding of the least intrusive and costly tool. Given this fact, enabling IoT (non-personal as well as personal) data be ported across different ecosystems is found to be the ideal solution, with the view to lessen vendor lock-in and keep the pace of innovation. Last but not least, it is concluded that technologically oriented measures as well as overambitious goals should be refrained to avoid ‘type errors’ in this technically complex and multifaceted area, where a holistic perspective is increasingly difficult to adopt.

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