Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Last week, a Senate panel met to discuss the growing dominance of tech giants, Amazon and Google, over the Internet of Things (IOT) and how that might allow them to accumulate even more power. The control of Big Tech companies through the use of IOT devices is an important topic that Professor Stacy-Ann Elvy (UC Davis) addresses in her timely new book, A COMMERCIAL LAW OF PRIVACY AND SECURITY FOR THE INTERNET OF THINGS (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming July 2021). I had the good fortune to read an advance copy and I highly recommend it. The book is a deep dive into the legal and consumer implications of the Internet of Things and those companies that make and control these devices. The book is filled with intriguing and alarming stories of how networked “things” affect society, including how they can be used to spy on us and condition us (or our loved ones) to behave in ways that are not always in our best interest. Prof. Elvy takes a comprehensive approach from a broad, commercial law perspective. Thus, the book should appeal to readers of this blog who might not think IOT concerns contracts because as the book explains, it most certainly does.
From the publisher’s website:
In the Internet of Things (IoT) era, online activities are no longer limited to desktop or laptop computers, smartphones and tablets. Instead, these activities now include ordinary tasks, such as using an internet-connected refrigerator or washing machine. At the same time, the IoT provides unlimited opportunities for household objects to serve as surveillance devices that continually monitor, collect and process vast quantities of our data. In this work, Stacy-Ann Elvy critically examines the consumer ramifications of the IoT through the lens of commercial law and privacy and security law. The book provides concrete legal solutions to remedy inadequacies in the law that will help usher in a more robust commercial law of privacy and security that protects consumer interests.
The book isn’t officially out until July 2021, but you can be the first one on your block to get one and pre-order your copy here.