In IoT Comments to Commerce Dept., SIIA Warns of Economic & Social Damage from Inflexible Regulations

For Immediate Release: 
SIIA Communications Contact: Diane Pinto, 202.789.4480,


In IoT Comments to Commerce Dept., SIIA Warns of Economic & Social Damage from Inflexible Regulations


Washington, D.C. (June 2, 2016) – The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal association representing the software and digital content industries today submitted comments regarding the Internet of Things (IoT) to the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). 

In the comments, SIIA says, “IoT represents an evolutionary technological development, encompassing a wide range of technologies, devices and platforms.  Therefore, overarching policies and regulations would stifle innovation and growth.  Rather, policymakers should rely heavily on the current framework which is sufficiently flexible to promote exciting new IoT innovations and enable the transformative benefits of the IoT that promise to fundamentally improve the way business is done and the way people live.”

Mark MacCarthy, SIIA’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy, commented, “Among our key messages is that government should consider ways to incent the combination of privacy and security ‘by design’ techniques.  We also ask policymakers to avoid mandates that represent a check-the-box approach, and instead work with industry on codes of conduct and best practices that establish responsible data security practices.”

“We appreciate this IoT initiative by leaders in the Commerce Department and believe all parties will be well served if they continue to play an active role as a convener of stakeholders.  In this way, the Department can help encourage development and implementation of effective consensus standards and industry self-regulation.”

SIIA’s comments include six specific policy recommendations that are based on findings from a recent white paper, Empowering the Internet of Things, which examines the technological, social and economic benefits and challenges facing IoT.  The recommendations are (more details can be found in SIIA’s full comments):

  1. Do not seek an overarching IoT Policy Framework; existing laws have functioned effectively and provide substantial consumer protection.
  2. Privacy rights for the IoT should be based on risk and societal benefits, such as public health, national security, economic growth, and the environment.
  3. Encourage best practices for privacy and cybersecurity; industry best practices and self-regulatory codes of conduct provide more flexibility to evolve and adapt over time.
  4. Promote technology neutrality and avoid technology mandates; which is especially important given IoT’s complex ecosystem.
  5. Standards should be open and industry-led so that they can they combine a wide range of data sets across myriad analytics environments and applications.
  6. Policies for embedded software should provide for product integrity; unrestricted ability to access and modify software will threaten device reliability, safety and usability.

SIIA’s comments were in response to a request for comment issued by the Department of Commerce.




About SIIA
SIIA is an umbrella association representing 800+ technology, data and media companies globally. Industry leaders work through SIIA’s divisions to address issues and challenges that impact their industry segments with the goal of driving innovation and growth for the industry and each member company. This is accomplished through in-person and online business development opportunities, peer networking, corporate education, intellectual property protection and government relations. For more information, visit