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NTIA Launches IoT Cybersecurity Stakeholder Effort

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration has tapped the Internet of Things (IOT) as the next issue to get the multistakeholder model treatment, specifically looking to avoid a patchwork of security patches.

NTIA has already overseen multistakeholder processes for voluntary drone privacy, mobile app privacy and facial recognition privacy as part of the Obama Administration's efforts to enforce its Privacy Bill of Rights via voluntary best practices.

On Tuesday, NTIA said it would convene a similar process for IoT security and "upgradeability" of IoT.

The idea is to address "potential security vulnerabilities in IoT devices or applications through patching and security upgrades," said Angela Simpson, deputy assistant secretary for communications and information for NTIA, and to "promote transparency in how patches or upgrades to IoT devices and applications are deployed."

Takeaways could include common terms and definitions to standardize the upgrading process.

The stakeholder process is open to anyone who wants to participate, with NTIA acting as a "convener" and facilitator.

The stakeholder process follows NTIA's request for comment on IoT issues, which included comment on the need for coordinating upgradeability, which was also an issue with mobile apps. "Given the burgeoning consumer adoption of IoT, the time seems ripe to bring stakeholders together to help drive some guidelines to encourage the growth of IoT," said Simpson.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.