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The Industrial Internet of Things: The Railway Law Revolution of Our Time

Publisher: Bloomberg BNA's Privacy and Security Law Report
November 20, 2017

Steven Cash, David Doot and James Blackburn authored an article, "The Industrial Internet of Things: The Railway Law Revolution of Our Time," for Bloomberg BNA's Privacy and Security Law Report. As the article discusses, the interconnected and networked nature of the ''industrial internet of things'' (IIoT) presents numerous legal issues beyond cybersecurity, including those related to intellectual property, liability and risk sharing, and ownership interests. The authors compare the challenges of the IIoT with the mid-19th century's evolving rail industry, which also represented a technological innovation that networked and linked economic actors in radically novel ways. The article provides detailed examples from the utility space to illustrate a variety of legal issues that may arise as the result of the interconnected and networked aspects of IIoT. "Ultimately, there is no denying that cybersecurity concerns are at the forefront of the IIoT discussion," the authors write. "However, failure to focus on this legal structure in the developing IIoT as it relates to the energy industry may in fact both deny opportunities for revenue and generate more risk than ever anticipated. For the energy industry, the need for energy and general corporate lawyers has morphed into a need for attorneys well-versed in the areas of software/hardware, intellectual property, tax, and insurance, among others."

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