Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

Challenges of the Internet of Things

April 4th, 2014 / in Uncategorized / by Shar Steed

Vint CerfOn April 2, the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) Council kicked off its spring Council meeting with a discussion with Vint Cerf, Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist, on the challenges of the “Internet of Things” (IoT), such as the connection of everyday items like lightbulbs, refrigerators, TVs, and other devices to both the internet and each other. The rapidly increasing numbers of networked devices brings up a number of  issues that the computing community will need to address in the near future. Cerf delivered an engaging presentation on his view of IoT and followed it up with a thought provoking dialogue with the CCC Council about some of the challenges that this new connected environment presents.

The development of “smart” devices, allows users to obtain valuable data that can help improve environments. For example, armed with more information, cities are now better able to monitor and report the status of city services, reduce traffic, and manage energy resources.

While having networked devices can be extremely useful and practical, it also opens the door to unintended consequences.  The data stored in devices may not be properly secured. Privacy may be put at risk. Software programmers may be held financially liable for software bugs or errors that fail and cause injury. If a self-driving car gets in an accident, who is responsible?

Discussion focused on the possibility of standardization, strong access controls and how computing curriculums may need to adapt to address some of these emerging issues.

The CCC Council meeting wasn’t Cerf’s only discussion on IoT. Later in the day, he continued his discussion in a Google Hangout and mentioned his meeting with CCC leaders.

Challenges of the Internet of Things