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Internet of Things: Who Gets the Data?

Connected machines will spark new negotiations along the supply chain.

Picture a roundtable discussion about the Internet of Things and who should get access to the data it generates. Who do you picture at that table, clamoring to get access to (or keep away from) the data created by this growing network of devices?

Me, I go right for the dramatic tension and picture a chief marketing officer, an ACLU lawyer, and an NSA analyst who identifies herself only as Susan.

Most companies will face a reality that's far less dramatic but maybe scarier. Take this scenario: In walks your banker. And insurance agent. And the dealer who sells and repairs your equipment. And the manufacturer who makes replacement parts and sells a competing product. And one of your customers.

Most of the IoT-related discussion around who controls the data focuses on public policy, such as whether to regulate what utilities can do with the customer data they collect via smart meters. And those discussions will be fascinating to watch.

But a huge round of negotiating will happen behind closed doors, where companies bang heads internally and with suppliers, partners, and customers over operating and performance data that has never existed before -- data that one party wants and another would like to keep to itself.

Read the full story on InformationWeek Chris Murphy is editor of InformationWeek and leader of its Strategic CIO community. He has been covering technology leadership and strategy issues for InformationWeek since 1999. Before that, he was editor of the Budapest Business Journal, a business newspaper in Hungary; ... View Full Bio

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