IOT360 Belisario: 'Many issues concerning privacy and the IoT are arising'

Ernesto Belisario combines his two passions – computer science and law – by being an administrative and ICT lawyer. His areas of research include new forms of political participation, internet in democracy, legal issues of open government, open data, and ICT Law, including privacy and copyright. He works as a consultant and delivers training and masterclasses all around Italy. He is the director of the Observatory on Open Government, Secretary General of the Institute for Policy Innovation, founder of e-Lex, and the author of numerous books and publications. Last but not least, he was one of the speakers at the latest edition of the IoT360 Summit.

Ernesto Belisario, IOT360 Speaker
Ernesto Belisario, IOT360 Speaker

What are your impressions of the IoT360 Summit? What are the big questions that have emerged from it?

The biggest questions mainly concerned two areas. The first are intellectual property issues, which have been discussed by the participants and the panelists alike. Some of the seminar participants who work in this sector have raised several concerns, many of which were easily solved by the panelists. The second group of questions concerned privacy issues, which, from a legal perspective, seem to be the main limit to the development of the sector, especially due to the partly different visions of the EU and the US regulators.

With the rapid development of the Internet of Things, what kind of privacy concerns are coming to the forefront? Could there be government regulation in this respect?

Many issues concerning privacy and the Internet of Thing are arising. The Article 29 Working Party has already published its opinion, which has been widely discussed during the forum as one of the representatives of the Italian DPA, which has drafted the opinion, was present at the forum. However, the Italian DPA is about to launch a public consultation on IoT, which should be published in the Official Journal in the following weeks, and which should involve all the different stakeholders. Participation at the consultation should be free, so IT companies, universities, scholars, and lobbying groups are all expected to contribute to it. At the end of the consultation, the DPA should pass a formal provision that could summarize the main privacy issues and give the guidelines to be followed by IoT operators. At the present moment, as far as we know, no bills on IoT are pending before the Parliament.

What kind of issues linked with ICT law would you like to see discussed at the 2015 edition of the IoT360 Summit?

On the one hand, it would be useful to follow up on the discussions of privacy and intellectual property issues from the 2014 summit. Many changes are likely to be introduced in the following months, by both national and EU authorities. On the other hand, the different legislations of the US, the EU, and third countries, especially Israel and other countries that area leaders within the sector, should be analysed in-depth, through a comparative approach.