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The rapidly-developing Internet of Things (IoT) may challenge conventional business, market, policy and societal models. This report to the European Commission aims to inform a consistent European policy stance capable of fostering a dynamic and trustworthy IoT that meets these challenges.

The study addresses the following research question: What can usefully be done to stimulate the development of the Internet of Things in a way that best supports Europe's policy objectives (societal impact and jobs through innovation), while respecting European values and regulations (with particular reference to ethics and data protection)?

The study builds on prior work including the six challenges (identification, privacy and data protection and security, architectures, ethics, standards and governance) identified by the European Commission's IoT Expert Group (2010-2012) and results from the 2012 public consultation on the IoT. The study was informed by a literature review, key informant interviews and an internal scenario workshop. Its findings and conclusions were extended and tested at an open stakeholder workshop. The analysis supports an initial soft law approach combining standards, monitoring, 'information remedies' and an ethical charter to facilitate IoT self-organisation and clarify the need for and nature of effective regulatory interventions.

Table of Contents

  • Part I

    State of play

    • Chapter One

      Definition: IoT in context

  • Part II

    Key issues

    • Chapter Two

      Market forces

    • Chapter Three

      Education, values and social inclusion in the IoT

    • Chapter Four

      Architecture, identification, security and standards

  • Part III

    Defining the problem

    • Chapter Five

      Problem statement

  • Part IV

    The case for action

    • Chapter Six

      Competence and policy objectives

    • Chapter Seven

      Normative framework and gap analysis

    • Chapter Eight

      Consideration of policy options

  • Part V

    Proposal for action

    • Chapter Nine

      Policy recommendations

    • Chapter Ten

      Implementation and monitoring strategy

  • Annex A

    Methodology

  • Annex B

    Managing autonomous decision engines in the IoT

  • Annex C

    Identification

  • Annex D

    Critical infrastructure security

  • Annex E

    IoT architecture: players, roles and focus

  • Annex F

    Identification: players, roles and interactions

The study has been conducted by RAND Europe, in collaboration with Simon Forge (SCF Associates Ltd), Maarten Botterman (GNKS Consult), and Hans Graux (time.lex) for the the European Commission, Directorate-General of Communications Networks, Content & Technology.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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