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2018 IoT Trends and Their Effects on GDPR

Business.com / Technology Solutions / Last Modified: August 1, 2018
Image credit: Pinglabel/Shutterstock

With the internet now controlling or being linked to nearly everything we do, it's time we take a look at the latest trends and their effects on GDPR and everything IoT.

The internet of things (IoT) is one of the most significant technological revolutions of our lifetime. It has the potential to transform almost every aspect of our lives and is also growing annually by 19.92 percent. The global IoT market is projected to be valued at $8.9 trillion by 2020.

The IoT is gaining more traction in 2018 than ever before. However, there is a complicating factor that IoT developers should be aware of – the GDPR. The GDPR has created a number of new security and privacy issues that will have an effect on the IoT. New devices need to be developed with the new GDPR standards in mind, along with other changes that the IoT has wrought.

Here are some exciting trends to look out for.

1. Near-universal connectivity

By the end of the year, it will be nearly possible to connect virtually every device on earth. Of course, most devices won't be connected with each other due to cost constraints. However, devices can be easily connected where it is practical to do so. Through the analytics data in this IoT industry report, we can see not only the massive growth within this industry, but also the massive amount of money being spent to protect customer data and privacy when relying on such technology.

For example, numbers are now on track to surpass $134 billion in spending by 2022 on IoT security alone. With Cloud Management Suite being the first IT management solution that can discover IoT devices, it will be interesting to see the different types of data reports and trends they release in the coming months – while also helping IoT-based businesses better understand the needs of both their customers and brand partners.

With so many ways businesses, brands, and organizations using the connectivity and benefits of an IoT-based business, we are also going to see further improvement in customer service, communications and bottom lines for those who continue to implement these methods. This will have profound benefits in numerous fields, from medicine to oil production. For example, patients with wearable devices can send vital health information to their healthcare providers in real time. New devices will be built with a wider variety of sensors and output channels to improve connectivity.

While better-connected IoT networks will bring many advantages, they will also create new complications for the GDPR. Consumer data will be collected at different points, so numerous companies may be responsible for developing security and disclosure policies. 

2. Four-stage data infrastructures

The IoT is exponentially increasing the range of data we use, quickly rendering previous data infrastructures obsolete. Data technologists are exploring new infrastructural approaches to these problems. One of the most innovative solutions is the four-stage data infrastructure. Here is a quick primer on it:

  • The overall architecture of the IoT network is defined in the first stage. This includes all actuators, wireless sensors and other core devices.

  • The second stage includes a system to aggregate sensor data and a system for converting analog to digital data.

  • The third stage is an IT system that processes data before it is transferred to the cloud or an internal data server.

  • The fourth stage is where the data is analyzed and stored for future recall.

This type of system will significantly improve the reliability and scalability of the data. Improving data quality is one of the highest priorities as data scientists explore uncharted realms of big data.

It is still too early to tell exactly how four-stage data centers will affect GDPR compliance. It will most likely have a dual effect. On the one hand, it will significantly scale the amount of available data. This will likely place more pressure on people to ask for copies of their data or to have their data removed. It may also create confusion among customers about the brands that store data in the first place, which could lead to them asking companies to remove data that doesn't exist.

On the other hand, new data servers could make it easier for brands to meet compliance. They will be able to use Hadoop tools to easily find data at customers' requests and delete records as needed.

3. More pressure to enhance security

All of the benefits of the IoT come with a significant trade-off – greater security concerns. Every IoT device is a potential invitation to cybercriminals.

Security risks have been a serious concern since the birth of the IoT. Those concerns are mounting as the IoT increases in size. For the time being, regulators have taken a largely laissez-faire approach to IoT security. Their attention has been mostly directed at more pressing security risks. However, they won't be able to ignore the security challenges of the IoT much longer. They are acknowledging that the highly fragmented nature of IoT networks is a challenge that needs to be addressed.

The GDPR may even need to be rewritten with these new standards in mind. Existing devices will need to be inspected for security flaws. Patches will need to be released to deal with any software problems that create vulnerabilities.

4. More practical mobile platforms

You can make a strong argument that the IoT was born from advances in mobile technology. Nevertheless, many of the first IoT platforms were built around desktop applications. Over time, IoT developers began to invest more heavily in mobile platforms. These platforms weren't intended to be built around mobile devices, but used mobile to offer more flexibility.

In 2018, we are starting to take the focus on mobile technology to the next level. A number of mobile-only applications will become available.

The unprecedented evolution of IoT

The IoT is undergoing tremendous changes in 2018. It will have a huge impact on the GDPR and smart devices around the world. The future of this new technology is still unwritten, but it will be fascinating to see how it unfolds.

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