Alexa, I’m Home! – The Risks & Regulation of the Internet of Things

Written by, Nora Hanson, Chris Knight, Blake McCartney & Dale Rappaneau, Class of 2022

I. Introduction

There are a variety of definitions of the “Internet of Things” (“IoT”). IoT has been described as “the concept of . . . connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet” and/or to another device.[1] It may also be explained as “[t]he interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.”[2] The concept of IoT encompasses many types of devices, including home technologies, wearable devices, and technology used by countless industries such as farming, manufacturing, transportation, and oil and gas.

This paper focuses on IoT in the consumer’s home, a space ripe with privacy considerations. First, this paper considers IoT in the home and the corresponding privacy risks. Next, this piece explains the manner in which the United States currently regulates IoT. Finally, this paper considers how the United States will regulate IoT moving forward.

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