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OTA Publishes Vision for the Future of Internet of Things

Tue, Oct 18, 2016

White paper lays out an ecosystem built on trust and innovation, where benefits to society and commerce are realized by prioritizing security, privacy & safety

Austin, TX and Chicago  –Today global non-profit think tank The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) released the white paper entitled, "Internet of Things, a Vision for the Future." The white paper outlines the foundational principles required for growth and innovation in the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem—which consists of consumers, device manufacturers, application developers and marketers involved with connected home and wearable technologies. OTA is presenting the white paper on Oct. 18 and 19 at the Consumer Electronics Association® Technology & Standards Forum and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration IoT Workshop in Austin, TX, and at the Smart Card Alliance Security of Things 2016 Conference in Chicago.  More >

Users’ confidence that their data is secure and private is at an all-time low, and those concerns are now cited as the biggest barriers to IoT adoption. In the white paper, OTA asserts the need to tackle these security and privacy challenges head on in order to drive innovation and realize the benefits with the Internet of Things.

“Connected devices hold a huge potential but without addressing their security and privacy systematically and holistically, their positive societal impact will be severely handicapped,” said Craig Spiezle, Executive Director and President of the Online Trust Alliance. “Developers, engineers, marketers and sales must work together in order to drive innovation and economic growth, increase the resiliency of the Internet and keep regulation at bay when it comes to IoT devices.”

In the white paper, OTA asserts that incorporating security and privacy protections in the earliest stages of design is the only way to bring secure IoT devices to market and help insure their safety in the long-term.  OTA spells out that while the IoT industry will evolve embracing interoperability and platform standards, it also needs to integrate core trust principles. “These security and privacy principles cannot be bolted on mid-flight, and must be designed in from the onset. Creating a culture of security, privacy and sustainability with transparency will yield long-term benefits to industry,” said Spiezle.

OTA lays out in the white paper how the processes, technologies and policies that protect users require ongoing support throughout the technology’s—and the data’s—lifecycle. Left unaddressed, IoT devices risk becoming proxies for abuse with a capacity for causing significant disruption. This ongoing support, termed “sustainability,” also includes the policies, practices and governance issues related to the ownership and transferability of the device and user data. For example, if a smart home device is transferred to new buyers, both the device’s original owners and its new owners need to be assured that whatever data it collects is private and secure. Consumers and businesses need the assurance that companies will continue to address these needs post the expiration of their warranty and protect their personal data.

Nearly 100 organizations including private businesses, consumer and privacy advocates, international testing organizations, academic institutions, and U.S. governmental and law enforcement agencies contributed to the development of this white paper. This is the continuation of work they had done to create the IoT Trust Framework, a set of principles providing guidance to device manufacturers and application developers to make their devices secure and ensure the privacy of data on them.  Download the white paper >

About OTA: 

The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) is a non-profit with the mission to enhance online trust and user empowerment while promoting innovation and the vitality of the Internet. Its goal is to help educate businesses, policy makers and stakeholders while developing and advancing best practices and tools to enhance the protection of users' security, privacy and identity. OTA supports collaborative public-private partnerships, benchmark reporting, and meaningful self-regulation and data stewardship. Its members and supporters include leaders spanning the public policy, technology, ecommerce, social networking, mobile, email and interactive marketing, financial, service provider, government agency and industry organization sectors.