Trustworthy IoT Coalition

The Trustworthy IoT Coalition is a flagship project of the Future of the Connected World initiative, aiming to improve the trustworthiness of consumer Internet of Things devices, such as voice assistants, security cameras, and smart watches. Ultimately it will help to create an IoT system that is more robust, equitable, trustworthy and sustainable for consumers, and empower individuals to make informed decisions regarding adoption and use of these technologies.

Challenge:

Consumer-Facing Smart Technologies are becoming an integral part of our daily lives. They help us to interact with our homes, health and families using the Internet. 

Despite the increasing use of Internet connected products worldwide, 63% of consumers (from the US, UK, France, Japan, Canada, and Australia) view these devices as ‘creepy’ and 75% distrust how their data is shared (Internet Society). Distrust can hinder technological adoption and innovation in the public interest, especially as governance and regulations are unable to keep up with the disruptive pace of technological growth.

While consumers’ trust in smart products is dependent on their perception, attitudes, and knowledge of these devices, smart products must also be trustworthy to begin with.

Addressing the trustworthiness of smart products is nevertheless challenging since its linked to social, environmental, and economical governance factors such as, privacy, security, agency, accessibility, transparency, accountability, norms and ethics.

Several initiatives currently exist across the public and private sector to address some of the governance gaps, though many operate in silos and it is difficult to know where to start without consensus on best approaches, global leadership, and limited regulatory guidance.

Opportunity:

The Trustworthy IoT Coalition is a key project of the Future of Connected World Initiative.

Leaders from the public and private sector convene with the vision to increase the trustworthiness of Internet connected devices (such as smart home, wearable, toy and fashion products) to:


  1. Empower all consumers and the wider ecosystem of stakeholders to make informed decisions about the purchase, use, design, management, and maintenance of smart consumer products. 

  2. Involve industry leaders to build the trustworthiness of connected devices across the value chain.

  3. Engage regulators to ensure policies can support consumers and guide the industry.

With the initial goal to harmonize content for a better future, the Coalition will create a Trustworthy Environment: A Model for Building and Sustaining the Trustworthiness of Smart Consumer Devices.

Elements of this project will be tested using labels and other tools to understand their effectiveness in practice and to scale solutions that have a positive impact.

The framework can support technology providers, regulators, academics and consumer groups in designing tools to signal and inform all consumers about the risks and benefits smart products. 

To harness the potential societal benefit of smart consumer products, whilst drive economic value and protect the environment, will require building and sustaining consumer trust, the cooperation and commitment of technology providers, and regulatory support.

Impact:

The outcomes of this project will include:

Bridge the Gap: Improve communication between consumer advocates, consumer-facing technology providers, academics, regulators, and other stakeholders.

Increase Transparency: Develop a greater level of transparency around approaches to build consumer trust in Internet connected products.

Establish A Framework: Accelerate the trustworthiness of consumer-facing connected devices and their innovation by harmonizing content to create a model practice.

Scale Impactful Projects: Pilot and scale elements of the framework to understand the viability of smart product information provision on consumer's decisions and behaviors.

Ways to Engage:

1.Leadership Dialogue: Convene with global leaders to share the latest insights and perspectives on building consumer trust, improving customer engagement and raising collective global leadership.

2.Join a Workstream: Join the current workstream to develop the Trustworthy IoT Framework and Pilots.

3.Host a Pilot: Executive a pilot to understand its viability for your country and regions, and/or Smart Product line for customer engagement and protection.

4.Foster a Project: Lead a project to tackle specific challenges where collective action is needed to support the Coalition's Vision.

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