Image source - https://bit.ly/3pMtly2

This article is written by Shriyanshi Chitransh, student of Fimt school of law, GGSIPU. The article is an exhaustive explanation of how the Internet of Things is nearly everywhere and how it is going to have an impact in our day to day life in future.

Introduction

There can be many unnecessary technical answers to what the Internet of Things means. Internet of Things or IoT is about extending the power of the internet to work beyond smartphones and computers to its local surrounding and environment. The internet of things is always open to new and creative ideas. Imagine you wake up by the alarm of your smartphone and by tapping on the alarm to stop which automatically causes the geyser to be switched on. The smart mirror in your washroom shows you the day’s weather. When you step out of the house the fan, the Air Conditioners, all the lights, geyser get switched off automatically. On your way to the office, your car warns you about the traffic on a particular route and suggests an alternative route. IoT can organize these stuff which can eventually make life easy and productive.

Definition of Internet of Things (IoT)

An unnecessary technical explanation of the Internet of Things is a system of interrelated computing devices, objects, animals, mechanical and digital machines, or people that are provided with Unique Identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer information without the necessity of human interaction with other human or computers.

An Internet of Thing device can be anything. It can be a biochip implanted in an animal or even a pen with a camera or any automobile that has built-in sensors that can alert the driver about any mishappening in the automobile, anything that can have an IP address and the information can be transferred over the network. When something is connected over the internet it means it can be sent or receive any information in the world. Connected devices have changed the way individuals interact with each other virtually. 

Development and historical background

The expression Internet of things was first introduced by Kevin Ashton, the executive director of Auto-ID labs at MIT, in 1999, while he was giving a presentation for the Procter and Gamble, he used the phrase for the very first time. In his presentation, he stated that in today’s computer i.e. the internet, the computer depends on the people. Almost all the data collected on the internet was captured by the people either by typing, pressing the record button, or scanning the barcode. People are incapable of capturing all the data in the world and if we have computers that can inherit all the data without any help from us, it would reduce the waste and cost. We would know when things need to be repaired or replaced considering the best for everyone.

Before 1999, the expression was referred to as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) which was used for tracking consignments. One of the first examples of the Internet of Things was the installation of the Coca-Cola machine at Carnegie Melon University in the 1980s, where the local programmers would connect the machine with the internet and check the availability of the coca-cola and check the temperature of the coca-cola if it is cold enough before physically going to take it out from the refrigerator. Kevin Ashton believed that if all the devices are designated in such a way the computer could manage to track the databases and inventory them. As of now, devices are designed in a way to track them from anywhere. The Internet of Things provides an ample supply of opportunities to interconnect our devices and equipment. Inventory control is one of the prominent advantages of the Internet of Things. 

Working algorithm

The Internet of Things consists of authorized smart devices embedded with systems that can send information, receive information, and act upon the data acquired from the environment as instructed. Through sensors, processors, and communication hardware the data collected will be transferred through an IoT gateway to the cloud to analyze it locally. Sometimes these devices interconnect with the devices found friendly to share data and information. These devices do most of the work independently without the intervention of humans. Although humans can instruct them or can have access to the data. 

When we say sensors, it can be any sensor be it temperature sensors, motion sensors, air quality sensors, light sensors, these sensors allow us to collect information from any environment and which results in great decisions. Just how hearing, sight, touch, taste allow us, humans the sense of the world, the sensors allow the machine to make sense of the world. The Internet of Things also can make use of Artificial intelligence and machine learning makes the whole data collecting process more efficient and vital. 

Various characteristic and trends

A few characteristics and trends of the Internet of Things are stated below:

  • With an increase in the rate of usage of IoT devices and the arrival of 5G, it will open the gates to the introduction of more devices which will eventually make the computing system of business process data a lot easier and faster. 
  • Devices come with built-in sensors which can be tagged and connected to other devices and collect data as it is designed to be connected.
  • Data is a key element of the Internet of Things. 
  • Devices connect with other devices to communicate the data and to analyze the data they have shared. Communication can happen over a short distance or long-range. 
  • The sensing capability of IoT devices is because of the artificial intelligence of the devices. 
  • The action of the devices is based on the consequences of intelligence. 
  • The entire ecosystem of IoT devices depends on the data collected and analyzed. 

The majority of industry leaders are coming up with home hubs such as Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, HomePod which will make the life of consumers easier and dynamic.

Installation of Humanoid robot Sophia, who have humanlike structure and expression, it is designed to promote AI ethics and the future of robotics. Robot rodeo, which is India’s first traffic robot to be deployed on road. This stated that voice represents 80% of daily communications and talking to a robot is part of mundane life now.

Another notion that is gaining popularity is digital twin technology through this technology the manufacturer can get insights into how it’s machines are going to work and if there are any changes required to make it even more efficient and less risky.

Scope in India

IoT devices are always around us whether we realize it or not. India’s IoT journey began later than any other developed country but it is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. According to the Deloitte report, the IoT units of India are expected to rise from 60 million to 32 times more i.e. 1.9 billion. As a result the IoT of the Indian market is predicted to increase about 7 times to move from the US $1.3 billion in 2016 to US$ 9 billion in 2020. Sensors, networks, standards, augmented intelligence, and augmented behaviour are some key enabling technology factors for the IoT adoption in India.

The adoption of IoT in India is at a high rise because of much use of smartphones and mobile internet which basically keeps the consumer IoT applications running. Although it is anticipated that the consumer IoT adoption in India will be slower than the Industrial adoption IoT in India due to the cost of the IoT devices, security, and privacy concerns of the consumer. Therefore according to the Deloitte report, the IoT presents the stakeholders with ample opportunities across the value chain as 60-65 percent of stakeholders are startups. Transportation, logistics, utilities, manufacturing, and automotive are expected to grow in the coming years due to their direct connection with the smart city development projects. Moreover sectors including healthcare, retail and agriculture are too expected to grow rapidly through IoT adoption.

The IoT adoption in India across the industry sector can be categorized into three terms:

Consumer Applications of the IoT

A consumer expects from the IoT devices to improve their overall quality of life whereas the organization expects the IoT to increase the productivity and automation of their work. A survey done by Tata Communications showcased that 35 percent of the common people limit their engagement with the IoT to smartphones which definitely is not true. The consumer applications of the IoT are trying to provide ample experience and initiatives to improve the quality of life. Smartphones that can operate televisions, fans, or even open the doors, fitness wearables track the health of a person and many more already exist. The rise in the use of IoT devices makes it possible for human beings to live life better than before in this fast-paced world. 

Industrial Applications of the IoT

Universally and in India, the growth of the industrial adoption of the IoT is more than the consumer adoption of IoT. Industrial application is coming through smart manufacturing. Industrial applications focus on connectivity, electronic communication, and rational processing. In India, the manufacturing industry, automation industry, and transportation are experiencing major changes and a higher level of adoption of IoT. Through this, the agriculture industry is trying to provide devices that can be used to know the Ph factor of the soil and compute the moisture. 

Public Sector applications of the IoT

 According to an IDC report, it was mentioned that more than 50 percent of India’s corporate leaders believe the IoT is digitally fit while on the contrary, 60 percent of the leaders think this as a solid way of driving competition between the developers.

Laws regarding IoT in India

The internet landscape is burgeoning. The exposure of volumes of data between the internet-enabled devices resulted in laws pre-existing and norms of privacy and data security, intellectual property, product liability, and M2M contracts which are described below:

  1. Privacy and Data Security: The whole IoT ecosystem focuses on collecting data and working accordingly. The information collected can be sensitive as well as personal too. Before such data is collected, the devices issue a notice to express the consent of the user to collect the data. In the case of smartphones and computers with built-in interfaces, it is easy to withdraw the consent before any mishappening. But in case of wearables and thermostats which don’t come with an interface, collecting the data and safeguarding these data is an issue in such devices.

However, at present, India’s laws on data security are mentioned in the Information technology (Amendment) Act, 2011.

  • Section 43A stipulates the corporate entities to maintain reasonable security measures to safeguard the sensitive and personal information of the party. If any negligence found in maintaining the security damages must be paid to the aggrieved party. 
  • Section 72A of the ITAA states that if any person who has access to all the data and information discloses any of the personal data without the consent of the person shall be punishable under the law. The Act provides protections for the rights of confidentiality and privacy. 
  • The Information Technology Rules, 2011 defines the rules on personal data and explains the way of collecting and storing the data.
  1. Intellectual Property: The embedded system on these interconnected devices connect and communicate over trusted standardized technology. Mostly the patents of these technologies are owned by third parties and using such technology results in infringement of the rights. When the third-party licenses out the standardized technology at exorbitant prices, it will be a roadblock for the small manufactures to get access to these technologies. The standardized technology must be easily accessible to small manufactures to keep their business driving. There are numerous stakeholders accessing data, collecting information, and creating new data every day. There is usually a large amount of data compiling each day and these compiled databases will be again considered valuable intellectual property.
  2. Product Liability: These interconnected devices are built with some software or hardware and sensors that come with warranties and guarantees and any defects in these devices can cause mayhem for the user to find who is responsible for the damage and from whom to claim the repairs. If all the stakeholders disclaim the damages caused, it will be difficult for the user to determine who is responsible for the damages done. 
  3. M2M contracts: IoT devices connect and communicate with other devices without any human interventions. These devices work on the behalf of an individual and even if the individual is not known but he is still entering into a contract when a particular device performs a task for him or on his behalf. Here the question arises whether the user is aware of the transaction happening on his behalf. 

There must be some norms to figure out the impact of these devices in society to address the challenges. 

Expectation in the future

The future is uncertain. Every second the world advances. The future depends on what choices we make today. We will inevitably connect to more things and people, which will certainly make the environment user friendly and more efficient. 

  • According to IoT analytics, it is estimated that by 2024 there will be more than 12.4 billion IoT devices.
  • Consumers will not be the only one using the IoT devices, cities and companies will adopt the measures to make them more efficient and productive. 
  • Artificial intelligence will live on to be the bigger thing. Smart hubs, lightening systems, even your coffee makers adapt to your habits and your pattern of usage. These devices collect data and store it in the cloud, this helps to facilitate the things around which is called machine learning.

Machine learning is a type of Artificial intelligence that works on its own without any human interventions. They are programmed in a way to work as they have been processed. For example, when you look something up on amazon, the recommendations of related items come based on the past choice. Even on Netflix, amazon prime or any video websites suggest movies based on your past views. The devices are designed to collect the data and processed accordingly. 

  • It’s not possible for every consumer to have a security system installed in their homes and this makes access to their devices vulnerable to the cyber attack. A router otherwise comes in handy when talking about security, the router provides password protection, firewalls and allows to configure the devices that can use the network. The router will be more secure and smarter.
  • BoTnet-powdered distributed denial of Service(DDoS) attacks have previously occurred to bring down the IoT devices websites. These attacks are expected to rise.
  • With the arrival of 5G technologies, things are expected to be a lot easier and faster. But this will open the devices to more cyber attacks.
  • Right now the automobile industry may not think the arrival of 5G as a huge thing but the upcoming cars will have built-in IoT devices that will analyze your data and connect with other IoT devices which will increase the efficiency of human life and put the automobile industry to a higher gear.

As of now, these are the most expected things from IoT devices but the future is inevitable and we can have much better with the technologies as they come in our life. 

Conclusion

The IoT is important and it is making the life of a human being easier and dynamic. IoT is a need for everyday life. The sooner individuals and business owners realize the potential of the devices the sooner they can pick up the steam with their competitors. 

References 


LawSikho has created a telegram group for exchanging legal knowledge, referrals and various opportunities. You can click on this link and join:

Follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more amazing legal content.

Did you find this blog post helpful? Subscribe so that you never miss another post! Just complete this form…

LEAVE A REPLY