IoT News Roundup

Google adds security feature to Eddystone for beacons; app records diet with a microphone; Bluetooth SIG announces developer training; new IoT-enablement platform from PLAT.ONE; EU Parliament updates privacy laws.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor

PLAT.ONE Offering Fast Track to IoT-Enablement

PLAT.ONE, an enterprise and industrial Internet of Things application platform provider, has released a new accelerator service for companies interested in producing IoT-connected products. Called PRODUCT.ONE, it enables manufacturers and authorized partners to provision, manage, collect and analyze data from connected products for home and commercial use. According to PLAT.ONE, the platform can be used to connect millions of products. Its role-based security model restricts access to the cloud-hosted platform to authorized users. Those interested should contact PLAT.ONE for pricing and other details.

EU Parliament Signs New Data-Protection Regulations

On Apr. 14, the European Parliament approved the General Data Protection Regulation, an update to the EU's 1995 digital data-protection laws. The new regulation, on which the European Union Commission, Parliament and Council of Ministers reached an agreement late last year, will go into effect this summer, but member states have until 2018 to comply.

The regulation is designed to make it easier for EU consumers to gain control over how service providers manage the personal data that consumers share with them. It allows consumers to request that their data be expunged from a company's records (known as "the right to be forgotten"), and that personal data be transferred from one provider to another. The regulation requires that providers alert consumers within 72 hours if databases containing their personal data have been hacked by outside parties. Under the new rules, personal data does not just include one's name or e-mail address, but also digital elements, such as cookies and the Internet Protocol address of devices used to connect to the Internet.

Any organization that does business in, or with, the EU will be required to comply with the new regulation, and non-compliance will result in severe penalties. Minor breaches could result in fines of up to 2 percent of an organization's global revenue, or €10 million ($11.3 million), whichever is higher. The EU could levy fees of up to 4 percent of global revenues, or €20 million ($22.6 million), whichever is higher, for egregious violations.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a Washington, D.C.-based technology policy think tank, issued a strongly worded response to the ruling, warning that it would take the digital economy "two giant steps backward." Under the new rules, ITIF president Robert D. Atkinson said, "Large, medium-sized, and small businesses, entrepreneurs, civil society groups, and government all will have an unduly hard time using data to start new ventures, expand well-established ones, or enrich European citizens' lives by discovering solutions to challenges in health care, education, or the environment."

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