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Internet of Things

Pew Survey Offers Further Evidence of the Privacy Panic Cycle

The Pew Research Center released a survey last week that investigated the circumstances under which many U.S. citizens would share their personal information in return for getting something of perceived value. In the survey, Pew set up six hypothetical scenarios about different technologies—including office surveillance cameras, health data, retail loyalty cards, auto insurance, social media, and smart thermostats—and asked respondents whether the tradeoff they were offered for sharing their personal information was acceptable.

To be sure, some of the questions that Pew asked described one-sided tradeoffs that could have tainted the findings. Nevertheless, the overall results reveal that the Privacy Panic Cycle, the usual trajectory of public fear followed by widespread acceptance that often accompanies new technologies, is still going strong for many technologies.

The Privacy Panic Cycle explains how privacy concerns about new technologies flare up in the early years, but over time as people use, understand, and grow accustomed to these technologies, the concerns recede. For example, when the first portable Kodak camera first came out, it caused a big privacy panic, but today most people carry around phones in their pockets and do not give

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8 Reasons Why Countries Need a National Internet of Things Strategy

The Internet of Things offers many opportunities to grow the economy and improve quality of life. Just as the public sector was instrumental in enabling the development and deployment of the Internet, it should play a similar role in the Internet of Things to ensure its success.

Here are the eight reasons why national governments should create comprehensive national strategies for the Internet of Things:

  1. Network externalities

Many of the social and economic benefits from large-scale deployment of the Internet of Things accrue not to those buying or selling these products and services, but to competitors—through the expansion of network benefits—and to non-users, if the application generates an external benefit. Government efforts can help correct these market failures so that consumers and businesses can seize the full set of benefits.

  1. “Chicken-and-egg” dynamics

The success of some Internet of Things applications depends on the success of other technologies and vice versa. While the market will eventually be able to establish effective interdependent systems, it would take longer and happen much more incrementally than it would with government support to resolve chicken-and-egg dilemmas and encourage mutual adoption of these technologies until

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