The Internet of Bodies
Opportunities, Risks, and Governance
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Internet-connected "smart" devices are increasingly available in the marketplace, promising consumers and businesses improved convenience and efficiency. Within this broader Internet of Things (IoT) lies a growing industry of devices that monitor the human body and transmit the data collected via the internet. This development, which some have called the Internet of Bodies (IoB), includes an expanding array of devices that combine software, hardware, and communication capabilities to track personal health data, provide vital medical treatment, or enhance bodily comfort, function, health, or well-being. However, these devices also complicate a field already fraught with legal, regulatory, and ethical risks. The authors of this report examine this emerging collection of human body–centric and internet-connected technologies; explore benefits, security and privacy risks, and ethical implications; survey the nascent regulatory landscape for these devices and the data they collect; and make recommendations to balance IoB risks and rewards.