Prediction Four of our Supply Chain Matters 2014 Predictions for Industry and Global Supply Chains predicts that the current momentum surrounding Internet of Things (IoT) could be side railed if vendors do not step-up and address certain challenges.  Such challenges include sensitivity to data security and information privacy.

This week, the Financial Times provided a specific B2C focused example of the meaning of data security challenges. The article, BMW sounds the alarm over tech companies seeking connected car data (paid subscription or metered complimentary view) indicates that indeed technology companies and advertisers are putting pressure on carmakers to share the data collected by more connected cars. German automaker BMW has sounded the alarm over such demands emanating from Silicon Valley tech companies and advertising interests and is reportedly indicating a firm “no thank you” to such demands.

We say, thank you, BMW.

The German luxury automaker indicated to FT that “it had a firewall in place to protect crucial data about the internal running of the car. But any transmission of data raises concerns about who might access that information- and what they might do with it” Apparently, BMW is not alone among automakers in taking such a stance.

Of course, the more significant benefits of connected machines communicating their operating status or needs for servicing or replacement parts is thwarted by these other more questionable or controversial approaches to mine data for other purposes.

This week, this author had the opportunity to speak with Mark O’Neill, Vice President of Innovation at B2B integration technology provider Axway. We talked about IoT’s current honeymoon period and the various issues of data and information security. We discussed parallels to prior RFID, item bar code, point-of-sale and other data collection initiatives that raised similar concerns about data security and data use.  The notions of the value of such data tended to take on added revenue considerations and spawned the growth of information brokers.

O’Neill articulated that the biggest challenge being raised for IoT among various B2C and B2B environments is exactly, who owns all of this potential data? Information integration and broker providers are caught in the middle of such dynamics and currently work with customers to insure data is protected, encrypted or reside within architectures that provide adequate protections.

According to O’Neill, initiatives and subsequent benefits of IoT initiatives will prove more successful when established industry best practices addressing information security and privacy are brought forward to IoT business initiatives.

In the coming weeks and months, we will feature more commentaries concerning IoT benefits along with the challenges that may affect current interest and momentum.

Stay tuned.

Bob Ferrari