The Internet of Things is getting a congressional caucus


The IoT is headed to D.C.


Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) are launching the Congressional Caucus on the Internet of Things (IoT) to help educate people on the development of web-connected products.

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The IoT refers to a world where products, or “things” other than mobile devices and computers, are web-enabled and typically controlled through an accompanying app. This ranges from smart thermostats and cooking equipment to fitness trackers and vehicles. Ultimately, these gadgets will come together to collect and analyze data with regards to use, habits and often times, provide feedback for improvement.

With billions of connections expected in the next five years, a number of questions linger around security, policies and laws related to the IoT era, and the newly-formed caucus aspires to address them.

“As someone with a long career in the technology industry and as an entrepreneur, I know firsthand how quickly technologies have developed to become critical to our daily lives. Policymakers will need to be engaged and educated on how we can best protect consumers while also enabling these new technologies to thrive. It’s important that our laws keep up with technology and I look forward to co-chairing the IoT caucus,” explained DelBene.

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The IoT Caucus will focus on educating members on the development of innovative technology and public policy in this space, while also informing them about upcoming opportunities and challenges in health, transportation, home and the enterprise, as these embedded devices take advantage of network connectivity to create new value.

This announcement comes just days after President Obama himself emphasized the significance of cybersecurity, in the wake of recent attacks against Sony and the Pentagon’s Central Command. The proposal would allow increased sharing of information on cyber threats from the private sector with protection from liability, and subsequently, would criminalize the sale of stolen financial data, and require companies to notify consumers about data breaches.

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“If we’re going to be connected, then we need to be protected,” the President stated.

At Atmel, the IoT is already at the heart of what we do. We started preparing for this smarter world nearly a decade ago, and now offer the industry’s most comprehensive, highly-integrated IoT solutions, which include hardware-based security.

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