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the internet of things

Connections between devices and objects, ‘the Internet of Things’ (IoT), is rapidly expanding. Technology such as sensors are embedded in more and more everyday things like cars, utility meters, white goods, wearable fitness trackers or home security systems. This makes objects capable of sensing and remotely communicating with each other, with users or with a central system – for any purpose.

Connection and Protection in the Digital Age

With estimates that 25 billion devices are connected to the internet – a figure that’s set to double by 2020 – connected devices now outnumber people by nearly  four to one. This presents a range of challenges for consumer protection, with smart systems and products connecting and collecting data on users and services across all walks of life, including healthcare and public transportation. 

Our report, Connection and Protection in the Digital Age, was published in April 2016. It looks at current and future applications of smart and Internet of Things technologies; the risks and opportunities for consumers; and the extent to which existing consumer protection frameworks are able to address and remedy potential problems. The research shows that while the benefits of greater connections are showing potential, many of the problems for consumers in the Internet of Things are no longer theoretical. The report brings together:

  • Case studies and examples from high income countries showing how consumer issues are already emerging for these new technologies;
  • Primary research from consumer organisations in Kenya, Nigeria and the Philippines;
  • Two engaging infographics illustrating the challenges for consumer protection in relation to the Internet of Things.

Graphic from the Internet of Things report

Related materials

Connected and Protected in a digital age: Briefing

The report briefing looks at current and future applications of smart and Internet of Things technologies; the risks and opportunities for consumers' and the extent to which existing consumer protection frameworks are able to address and remedy potential problems.

Available in English and Arabic

Connected and Protected in a digital age: Full Report

The report briefing looks at current and future applications of smart and Internet of Things technologies; the risks and opportunities for consumers' and the extent to which existing consumer protection frameworks are able to address and remedy potential problems. 

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