Mozilla Calls for "Responsible IoT"

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 09, 2017

As the Internet of Things (IoT) gains momentum, there is a need for collaboration, open and interoperable tools, and governance.  In fact, all the way back in 2015, Philip DesAutels, the AllSeen Alliance’s leader, told us that: “In five years, I think all of this will be around us everywhere, in everything. The next phase is going to be the really transformational phase. “Systems around you will have a whole lot more information. They’ll be able to deliver a lot more value.”

Now, Mozilla, which has been keeping track of the convergence of open source and the Internet of Things, is out with a new report calling for "responsible IoT."

According to the report:

"IoT can work for the public good. It can fuel the movement for open knowledge and technology. IoT can contribute to a better planet: Cities like San Antonio, Barcelona and Hubli have used IoT to conserve water and energy. IoT can empower citizens: From Hong Kong to Dublin, people are using the web to participate in government. And IoT can fuel do-good organizations and movements, from Arduino to makerspaces.

On the flip side, there are existential dangers. IoT can erode privacy: Legions of connected microphones and cameras unknowingly track our movements and conversations. Governments surveil citizens en masse, and profit-minded businesses horde personal data. IoT also means more vulnerabilities, from the recent Dyn attack to the hacking of elections."

 The Mozilla report calls for everyone to check out a paper on the road ahead called “We All Live in the Computer Now.” It explores the opportunities of a pervasive Internet, the challenges and where we go next, and comes from the the NetGain Partnership.

"Examining past Internet inflection points is helpful," notes Mozilla. "There were times that — in hindsight — would have benefited from a better balance of progress and principle. As the web exploded in the 90s, power was quickly consolidated in the hands of a browser monopoly. More recently, we’ve learned that much of the web’s evolution has favored the privileged, and left others — like non-English speakers, and the poorest among us — behind."

"Yes, we’ve made positive progress on these fronts," Mozilla added. "Internet users now have more browser choice and control. And NGOs, businesses and governments are investing in digital inclusion. But right now, we have an opportunity to head off future dangers proactively. In the early era of IoT, we can shape a positive future."