IOT News Roundup

IT pros worry about data privacy; Miracle-Gro releases app for Connected Yard; NFC Forum publishes new IoT-related specifications; companies show strong interest in location-based marketing; health-monitoring device usage expected to triple by 2020.
By Claire Swedberg
Mar 18, 2016

Survey Probes Concerns About Data Privacy Among IT Pros

ForgeRock, a provider of an identity-management platform designed to help organizations manage networks of connected devices, has released survey results that indicate inadequate data privacy and consent tools. TechValidate, an independent research firm, conducted the survey on ForgeRock's behalf, querying more than 300 IT professionals from a range of industries and from 38 different countries throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

Approximately 93 percent of the survey respondents indicated that customer data privacy concerns are a critical issue at the C-level, while only 9 percent said that current data privacy and consent methods adequately protect consumers. Nearly all respondents—96 percent—said they believe that consumers are increasingly concerned about "their personal data privacy and their ability to control, manage and share data about themselves online," and that organizations believe that "the ability to preserve and prove customer privacy builds loyalty for their brand."

The survey revealed a marked difference in the opinions of data privacy professionals in the United States compared to those of their peers in Europe and Asia. Most respondents in the United States—84 percent—said they believe that U.S. regulations designed to protect consumer privacy are becoming similar to those enacted in European countries. Yet, European IT professionals were more skeptical, with only 66 percent agreeing that the United States would implement data privacy regulations similar to those in Europe.

ForgeRock says it commissioned the study in order to assess the role of data privacy and consent in building a trusted digital world.

Miracle-Gro Launches Connected Yard Platform

Consumer lawn and garden product company Scott's Miracle-Gro Co. has announced the "Gro App" as part of its new Connected Yard platform. The app will be available early next month from the Apple iTunes Store, with the Android version of the app expected to be made available on Google Play later this year.

The Connected Yard platform is designed to help gardeners understand the conditions in which they plant and grow their flowers, shrubs and other plants. Connected Yard features sensors, as well as Gro software that will track the recent weather and rainfall, and determine which types of plants are most likely to succeed at each location, while the sensors identify soil conditions.

The sensors collect local data and forward it to the Gro-hosted server. Software processes that information and sends analysis back to the app running on a user's smartphone, and the user can then view that data and also make changes. For instance, an irrigation controller can receive instructions from the cloud-based software, based on data from the sensors or as directed by the app user.

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