June 17, 2019

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Senate Panel Passes “Internet of Things” Bill

Yesterday, the Senate Commerce Committee passed a bill meant to increase government involvement in the development of the “Internet of Things” (IoT).

By a voice vote, the committee approved the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act, sponsored by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).  The bill would require the establishment of a working group tasked with identifying proposals meant to facilitate IoT growth.  The working group would include representatives from the Transportation Department, the Commerce Department, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Science Foundation. Separately, the Commerce Department recently issued a Request For Public Comment seeking comment on the role of government in fostering the advancement of IoT.

The bill also sets up a steering committee that will include industry stakeholders.  Both the working group and the steering committee will examine a range of IoT issues, including the regulatory challenges that may limit the growth of IoT and the availability of wireless spectrum for IoT devices.  The committee also approved several minor amendments to the bill, which, among other things, expanded the government agencies involved in the working group.

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About this Author

Ani Gevorkian, Covington Burling, regulatory and public policy attorney

Ani Gevorkian is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office and a member of the Communications & Media and Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice Groups.

Representative Matters

  • Counsels technology companies on a wide range of federal and state privacy laws.
  • Drafts privacy policies and terms of use for clients’ websites.
  • Advises clients about federal restrictions of digital marketing and advertising campaigns.
  • Represents clients in various Federal Communications Commission proceedings, including spectrum reallocation and open...