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About Smart Devices and the Internet of Things

In 2016, there were an estimated 8 billion connected devices throughout the world. That number is estimated to be 50 billion by 2020. Cisco has called the Internet of Things (“IOT”) as “potentially the biggest business opportunity in the history of mankind.” The IOT will touch every company, every consumer and every industry. Whether it is self-driving vehicles, devices that control energy and water usage, drone deliveries, improvement of manufacturing processes on the assembly line, health care or your smart home, the IOT devices are here to stay.

Despite the speed at which IOT devices are being deployed and the race to develop new devices, the law related to the area of IOT devices is in its infancy.

Our team uses their expertise in technology, privacy and telecommunications to collaborate with and advise our clients on a daily basis to:

  • Identify the data privacy and security laws that could impact the sale and use of IOT devices and the data shared using those devices.
  • Educate on current trends in data privacy and security law, such as ownership of data shared by connected devices, potential product liability issues, and legal risks associated with a data breach or device interception.
  • Prepare terms of use and privacy policies whereby companies disclose the privacy and security challenges associated with IOT devices and allow users to make an informed decision with regard to consenting to the use of data collected from their smart devices in an accurate and understandable form that is consumer friendly.
  • Draft and negotiate supply chain and licensing agreements for the manufacturing, design, purchase and sale of IOT devices that contain provisions to protect the IOT devices from data security violations.
  • Prepare comprehensive vendor management programs designing or manufacturing IOT devices.
  • Support health care providers to ensure that the applications and medical devices used to monitor patients comply with HIPAA and HITECH privacy and security standards.
  • Advise and educate clients on a proactive basis about the litany of government and industry initiatives regarding the IOT.
  • Assist in product liability and recall planning related to interconnected devices.
  • Identify ownership, data storage and protection of data traveling through IOT devices.
  • Advise on employment law risk associated with gathering of employee data using IOT devices.
  • Identify security and privacy law risks of interconnected devices with collecting and transferring of data.
  • Respond to cyber-attacks on interconnected devices and any related data breach incidents.
  • Assess intellectual property risks and negotiate intellectual property provisions associated with ownership and use of connected devices.
  • Analyze risks of data loss or interception, device failures and product liability claims.
  • Draft privacy notices and terms of use for smart products and smart product applications.
  • Assist with identifying and implementing best practices based upon applicable self-regulatory procedures related to the IOT.
  • Understand and keep current on the Federal Trade Commission’s past and current pursuit of data privacy and security legal proceedings, and the FTC’s Guidance on the IOT.
  • Identify government agencies that are looking at recommending and developing standards and requirements related to IOT products and devices.
  • Advise regarding compliance with the FTC’s regulatory provisions related to data privacy and security violations.
  • Address industry specific concerns for consumer product, health care, financial services, automobile, medical devices, utility companies and manufacturing facilities utilizing connected devices.
  • Assess insurance considerations for reducing risk when selling or purchasing products containing IOT devices.