Technologists and futurists love to talk about the Internet of Things, which is the increasing tendency to put computing power and internet capability in every conceivable object. Security experts say the Internet of Things is creating new pathways for hackers and surveillance to threaten the security and privacy of people everywhere.

Security and privacy for the Internet of Things (IoT) will be addressed at a conference to be held on Friday, October 21, at the Friend Center Convocation Room on the Princeton University campus. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. For more information, visit

The discussion, “The Internet of Things,” will convene experts at the intersection of technology and policy from industry, academia, and civil society to discuss issues surrounding the security and privacy for the IoT. This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Information Technology Policy and the Woodrow Wilson School.

The IoT presents opportunities for innovation in domains ranging from smart homes to smart cities. Yet many IoT devices ship with security flaws that put citizens and consumers at risk and create broader security, privacy, and robustness issues.

Some of the topics and questions that the conference plans to address include:

Robustness: How long can consumers expect to receive software updates and security patches for the devices that they purchase? How should manufacturers communicate end-of-life expectations to consumers? What are reasonable end-of-life expectations?

Privacy: What are the best technical and policy mechanisms to ensure the security of private data? How can IoT technologies best provide users with transparency, control, and choice over how the data from IoT devices are collected, shared and retained?

Security: Who should bear the liability or responsibility for ensuring that connected IoT devices remain secure and up to date? Given that many IoT devices may ship with software vulnerabilities that will never be patched, what are the appropriate ways to deal with these devices?

Speakers include Michelle De Mooy, acting director of the Center for Democracy and Technology; Cora Han, attorney at the Federal Trade Commission; Ben Zorn, senior researcher at Microsoft; Jay Dominick, CIO of Princeton University; and others.

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