GAO: 5 key challenges to IoT growth

The U.S. Government Accountability Office's Center for Science, Technology and Engineering released its technology assessment of the Internet of Things.

GAO convened two expert meetings, reviewed reports and studies and interviewed agency officials to develop this report. Ten federal agencies and 12 experts also reviewed the draft report to provide technical comments.

"Electronic processors and sensors have become smaller and less costly, which makes it easier to equip devices with IoT capabilities," according to the report. "The IoT's rapid emergence brings the promise of important new benefits, but also presents potential challenges."

Here are five challenges GAO identified.

1. Information security. The integration of unsecured IoT devices into homes and communities also brings the potential for its data to be compromised in a cyberattack.

2. Privacy. IoT devices often collect information about individuals, which can be used in ways the consumer did not anticipate. For example, a fitness tracker might sell user data to other companies.

3. Safety. An IoT device that is hacked might endanger the safety of its owner. A compromised connected automobile in 2015 allowed hackers to cut its brakes, for example.

4. Standards. Stakeholders need to develop technical standards so devices and systems within the IoT space can communicate with one another.

5. Economic issues. Industries may use IoT systems to reduce costs and provide enhanced services. However, IoT will likely reduce the need for certain jobs, like assembly line work or vehicle deliveries.

Click here to view the full report.

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