Canada: The Internet Of Things: Guidance, Regulation And The Canadian Approach (Video Content)

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been identified as a disruptive technology, bringing with it both the promise of seamless interconnectivity of devices and, the flip side of that interconnectivity, single-point vulnerability of multiple systems. While businesses rush to embrace the technology, the regulators have begun considering the issues raised byit.

What is the Internet of Things?

The “Internet of Things” is a phrase that refers to everyday products that are connected to the internet that can send and/or receive communications from other devices. It includes internet-enabled products such as thermostats, fitness trackers, watches, cars, light bulbs, washers and dryers or even toasters and toothbrushes.1On a larger scale, it can include industrial controls and factory machinery.

The Internet of Things is expected to have an economic impact of $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion per year by 2025, which will represent up to 11% of the world’s economy.2 The world’s largest manufacturers have already jumped onboard the Internet of Things, but as with any disruptive industry it will take a few years for the regulatory frameworks to catch up.

With this new industry comes a host of new legal issues. Some areas of law that will be affected by the Internet of Things include: security, privacy and competition law. Regulators may introduce minimum security protocols for IoT devices since breaches of security can lead to more direct and physical effects on a consumer’s safety. Privacy also becomes exponentially more important since the amount of information about an individual’s life will increase as more products become internet-enabled. Consumers of these products will demand more control over their private information, while companies will want to store that information for commercial purposes. Competition will also be an issue as the big technological players attempt to standardize and control the frameworks that connect these devices through patenting these technologies and seeking exclusive commercial deals.

The Internet of Things can help make society more effective, safer and greener so it is important that these future regulations strike a proper balance between supporting helpful innovation and protecting consumers. It is also important that these future regulations be in accordance with international approaches, since asymmetric regulations can lead to increased regulatory compliance costs to enter the Canadian market and they can also increase the barriers of Canadian companies to enter the global markets.

As of yet, there have not been any direct regulatory adjustments to deal with these unique issues. However, there have been committees established and meetings taking place around the world to deal with the Internet of Things. Businesses that have begun to embrace Internet of Things technologies, whether in their products or as part of their manufacturing processes and controls, should pay close attention to the increasing activity of regulators in this area.

The European Union

The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, has created the “Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation” (“AIOTI”). The European Commission has suggested that future regulations must focus on security, privacy, consumer protection, functioning competition and choice.3

The European Commission released a report based on a public consultation on the Internet of Things.4 The public consultation found, amongst other things, the following:

  • Privacy: Industry representatives wanted to see no changes to current privacy laws to help promote innovation, while the majority of consumers and consumer organizations considered the current privacy regulations inadequate and wanted to see IoT-specific Data Protection Impact Assessment guidelines. In addition, consumers thought that they should be in control of their data and wanted stronger enforcement for privacy breaches.
  • Security and Safety: Industry representatives wanted to see no changes to the current security requirements and did not want to see overregulation. Consumers, on the other hand, wanted to see the creation of guidelines and standards for security to ensure data confidentiality, integrity and availability in an IoT context.
  • Competition: The majority of respondents agreed that IoT devices should inter-operate to promote competition and service innovation. Industry leaders, however, pointed out that non-interoperable vertically-integrated systems should not be prevented by legislation, especially in non-consumer facing products.

The United States

In January, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission released a Staff Report on the Internet of Things. The report was prepared in conjunction with leading technologists, academics, industry representatives and consumer advocates. This report focused on the issues of privacy, security and whether legislation is required to regulate the Internet of Things. The report suggested the following:

  • Privacy: The report suggested that companies practice “data minimization” which involves limiting the collection of data and the time that data is held for the period of time it needs to be used.
  • Security and Safety: The report recognized that security in the context of the Internet of Things is becoming more important. Namely, the report outlined the various ways that security breaches can lead to real-life safety concerns.5 The report suggests that companies should prioritize the building of security into devices, should train employees adequately, should ensure that contractors can maintain security, and should monitor devices and report to the consumer when security breaches are detected.

The reports suggests that IoT-specific legislation would be premature at this point. Instead, the report suggests that broad security and privacy legislation should be introduced to deal with these matters while remaining flexible enough to adapt to technological innovations.

The Canadian Approach

It remains to be seen how Canada will adapt to a world of connected devices. From the reports created in the EU and US it is apparent that there will be tension in the creation of new regulatory frameworks since these have the potential to stifle innovation and increase business costs. Nonetheless, the security, privacy and competition implications of the Internet of Things are equally apparent. Companies should ensure that they are continually monitoring and improving their privacy and security practices to stay in front of any legislative changes. In the long run, this will decrease compliance costs and help gain the trust of consumers.

The federal Privacy Commissioner has taken what it describes as a “keen interest” in the problems associated with the Internet of Things and notes that is conducting various research projects related to the Internet of Things.6 In June, 2015 Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien in his submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology said that his Office planned to release “several reports on the Internet of Things”.7

While no reports have been forthcoming, the Privacy Commissioner reiterated his Office’s interest in and concern with the Internet of Things,8 noting specifically that in Spring, 2016, it will produce a “discussion paper” outlining the various challenges associated with the current consent model, explore potential solutions, such as industry codes and other forms of self-regulation, and enhanced regulation. While these are not specific to the Internet of Things, the Internet of Things, and IoT-enabled devices, will be included.

The Privacy Commissioner also anticipates “provid[ing] guidance to businesses and technology developers on how to build privacy protections into products and services; and educate users on the privacy risks associated with wearable devices” and other connected technologies.

1 http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304360704579415161522531046

2 http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/business_technology/the_internet_of_things_the_value_of_digitizing_the_physical_world

3 Internet of Things: the next revolution, CONNECT Advisory Forum, the European Commission, at page 10.

4 Report on the Public Consultation on IoT Governance, January 16, 2013.

5 For more examples, see the list of possible security concerns released by the FBI: http://www.ic3.gov/media/2015/150910.aspx.

6 Yesterday was already tomorrow… The Internet of Things: The need for an adequate information security and privacy framework, Remarks at the Information Security Rendez-vous (ISR) 2014, Montreal, Quebec, May 7, 2014 (Address by Daniel Caron, Legal Counsel, OIPC).

7 Study on the State of Disruptive Technologies, Submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, June 18, 2015 (Address by Daniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner of Canada).

8 National Security and Privacy in 2015, Remarks at the Privacy and Access 20/20 Conference, November 12, 2015,Vancouver, British Columbia (Address by Daniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner of Canada).

To view original article, please click here

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions