The U.S. Department of Commerce on Thursday issued a green paper outlining guiding principles and an approach to support the advancement of the Internet of Things (IoT).

According to the Department, IoT is a transformational evolution in global technology with the potential to benefit public safety, health care, governance, the environment and improve the daily lives of workers and consumers.

The report, developed by the Department’s Internet Policy Task Force and Digital Economy Leadership Team, finds that the increased scale, scope and stakes of the Internet of Things will lead to opportunities and challenges that are qualitatively different than prior technological advances. 

The report suggests that the Department’s policies and practices that evolved over recent decades to support emerging technologies — like the Internet — can form a strong foundation for fostering the growth and advancement of advanced IoT applications.

The paper reflects feedback received from an April 2016 Request for Comment as well as a workshop hosted by the Department in September 2016. Included in the paper are four principles – derived from stakeholder input – to guide the Department’s future IoT activities:

  • The Department will lead efforts to ensure the IoT environment is inclusive and widely accessible to consumers, workers, and businesses;
  • The Department will recommend policy and take action to support a stable, secure and trustworthy IoT environment;
  • The Department will advocate for and defend a globally connected, open and interoperable IoT environment built upon industry-driven, consensus-based standards; and
  • The Department will encourage IoT growth and innovation by expanding markets and reducing barriers to entry, and by convening stakeholders to address public policy challenges.