When Identity Management and the Internet of Things Collide, New Opportunities Emerge

Successful organizations must be able to securely manage ever-evolving devices and connected things, as well as the billions of relationships between these devices, their users and digital services that come with the IoT.
By Daniel Raskin
Oct 21, 2015

One of the quickest ways in which entrepreneurs can advance their business is by adopting new technologies that take advantage of the burgeoning world of Internet-connected devices. Technology market research firm IDC forecasts that the Internet of Things (IoT) market opportunity will grow to $1.7 trillion by 2020.

What does this IoT device landscape look like? In the consumer realm, common examples include wearables and connected appliances. Using a range of embedded sensors, fitness wearables track, analyze and compare your workout to those of other users. Connected thermostats, such as Nest, allow homeowners to remotely manage, track and analyze their energy usage.

In both of these examples, though, an end user's privacy and security needs to be front and center. Many IoT vendors are not putting much energy into user privacy, which could be a deciding factor between long-term winners and losers in this market.

I like to track and analyze my own workouts, but consider that information personal. I don't want others to be able to see how I'm progressing (or not), or to have access to potentially personally identifiable information, such as my location or schedule. Companies must be able to protect my personal privacy while rapidly rolling out new IoT-connected services.

Privacy, by design, must be viewed as a requirement. End users must be empowered to control their personal data with user-managed access allowing them to authorize, manage and share data from a single control point, giving them ownership over their personal privacy. Only then will IoT adoption explode.

The impact of maintaining customer privacy stretches beyond the IoT. If secure data sharing is possible between all users, cloud services and connected devices, businesses can access a tremendous amount of actionable customer intelligence, such as shopping habits, from timing to preferences to price points. Protecting privacy, building customer trust and enabling data sharing are foundational elements of a successful digital business.

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