Internet of Things

Advancing the Internet of Things (IoT), a concept describing an environment in which physical and virtual objects inter-network, is now high on the legal agenda (see eg the European Commission’s ‘Advancing the Internet of Things in Europe (2016)’).

The expected benefits of the IoT span from increased safety and efficiency to promoting the independence and improved quality of life of senior citizens. At the same time there are certain challenges which must be addressed: inter alia, a balance needs to be struck between fostering innovation and consumer protection. In so doing the law must also respond to the question of common European national and industry standards. In particular, the questions of liability (civil and criminal) and data protection have to be urgently dealt with.