12th Internet Governance Forum, Geneva

IGF Dynamic Coalition on the Internet of Things



Tuesday, December 19, 15:00 – 16:00


The IGF Dynamic Coalition on the Internet of Things (IoT) brings together stakeholders from all over the world to engage in a dialogue on “good practice” in IoT, with the intent to find a realistic and long term sustainable way forward. The Chairman of the DC IoT is Maarten Botterman. For more information on the work of IGF DC IoT since its inception in 2008 see http://www.iot-dynamic-coalition.org/.
Moderator: Avri Doria, Principal Researcher with Technicalities and a key contributor to the work of DC IoT, and Board Member of ICANN. Organised by a core group of IGF DC IoT contributors including Maarten Botterman, Dan Caprio, Avri Doria, Nigel Hickson, Sandra Hofenrichter, Wolfgang Kleinwaechter, Peter Koch and with contributions from Alex Wong and the WEF team. Rapporteur: Maarten Botterman (maarten@gnksconsult.com).

The 2017 IGF DC IoT workshop focused on 3 key issues that are reflecting our current thinking working towards a common appreciation of IoT good practice in 2016. These ideas are at the core of the draft declaration on IoT best practice that has been published on the IGF website and the DC’s own website:

  1. Securing the IoT is a key issue, in the knowing the IoT is fulfilling increasingly critical functions, that IoT devices remain in use for often indefinite times, and have been used over the past year for DDOS attacks etc.;
  2. IoT to address societal challenges: Overall, IoT was seen as “coming” and “promising” and necessary to be able to address specific societal challenges. In this it is important to ensure developing countries can and will benefit from IoT applications as well, such as in agriculture and disaster warning systems;
  3. The third element is the “safety net” element: how can we ensure independent trusted expertise is available to further explore whether systems are doing what they promise, and attributing actions and responsibilities. And what can be done to provide insurance for systems failing.

The discussion was initiated with short statements from committed contributors to this open session:

  • Alex Wong; World Economic Forum, who presented the initiative of the World Economic Forum to develop Digital Protocol Networks based on multistakeholder, expert based “Protocol Networks” that develop non-binding actionable solutions to specific societal/economic governance gaps due to the advent of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things. For more information on the Forum’s work see: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/IIoTSafetySecurity_DigitalProtocol_Draft_V1.9.pdf and
  • Dr. Daniela Brönstrup, Deputy Director-General for Digital Policy, Postal Policy, International Affairs, and Media in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), who shared about the relevant discussions related to IoT Good Practice during the G7 meeting in Torino that adapted the “Torino Declaration”, see:
  • Sebastián Bellagamba, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean for the Internet
    Society, sharing ISOC’s findings in the IoT white paper to inform the debate from an Internet user’s perspective: see https://www.internetsociety.org/resources/doc/2015/iot-overview
  • Marco Hogewoning, Technical Advisor with the RIPE NCC, who is very active on IoT policies development from a technical community perspective, and has been instrumental in setting up a specific working group at RIPE, see here: https://www.ripe.net/participate/ripe/wg/iot.
  • Eric Loeb, Senior Vice-President International External & Legislative Affairs at AT&T SVP, told about AT&T’s perspective on the delivery of communications, entertainment and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. For a peak at AT&T’s IoT portfolio, look at
  • Arthur van der Wees spoke as legal expert in IoT, security and data protection with a global footprint. He is founding member of the Alliance for IoT Innovation (AIOTI) (www.aioti.org), co-author of the IoT Handbooks 2016 and 2017 of IERC, and Board Director of the Institute for Accountability and Internet Democracy, and he shared the current thinking in European
    research collaboration.

During the presentations, it became clear speakers agreed on the need to progress good practice recognizing that IoT does play out differently in different applications. For instance, for IoT applied in cars, applicable sectoral legislation is different than in the health industry, or indeed consumer gadgets. And this is generally seen as a good thing.
The risks that relate to IoT applications are multiple, and difficult to oversee. Furthermore, responsibilities are hardly attributed in the current environment. By focusing at risk management, and, ultimately, insurability of risks, a lot of progress will be made. Codifying risk leads to measures for which the investments relate more clearly with perceived risks in financial terms. A crucial element in stimulation of good practice behavior. The WEF’s initiative on this was warmly welcomed.
In addition, there was a strong call for involving the right stakeholders – all those that get involved in producing elements of the IoT ecosystem, through creation of IoT environments and services, to those who use and/or get affected by usage.
Time for discussion was short, and the work will depend on interaction beyond the time slot for the DC IoT during the IGF, alone. There was a call to sign up for the DC IoT mailing list, become part of it. In addition, there is a call to get involved, as appropriate, to the initiatives of the World Economic Forum, RIPE NCC, AIOTI, and ISOC for those willing to invest, to help to progress where we need to put the finger, where we need to take action, and how to develop a broadly supported taxonomy that makes us aware of what security is necessary, where, what safety is necessary where, and where we find privacy sensitivity to be addressed.
Input during the IGF and otherwise, during the year to come, will be taken into account to update the paper on Global Good Practice in IoT, and the aim is to come with a Call for Action in 2018.
Overall, about 90 people attended the session, including about 30 women. There has been no specific focus on gender issues during this session.
IGF Session video capture and transcript: https://www.intgovforum.org/multilingual/content/igf-2017-day-2-room-xxiii-dc-internet-of-things
IGF DC IoT Global Good Practice paper: https://www.intgovforum.org/multilingual/content/internet-of-things-good-practice-policies-dc-on-internet-of-things