On Tuesday, January 24th, the Senate Commerce Committee advanced the “Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act” without amendment. The bill, introduced by Senators Fischer (R-NE), Booker (D-NJ), Gardner (R-CO), and Schatz (D-HI), seeks to ensure appropriate interagency cooperation to support and improve the Internet of Things (IoT). The bill would require the formation of a Federal stakeholders working group from various agencies to provide recommendations and a report to Congress. The recommendations and report would examine regulations, statutes and other challenges that might inhibit the development of IoT, how Federal agencies can benefit from utilizing IoT, and security measures that Federal agencies may need to take to utilize IoT and defend against cyber threats.
The bill also directs the working group to consult with a steering committee consisting of non-federal stakeholders appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, nonprofits, and subject matter experts representing various sectors, including the healthcare sector. Additionally, the bill includes a number of findings related to IoT and a sense of Congress that federal policies governing IoT should maximize the potential and development of the Internet of Things to benefit all stakeholders. The bill will now go before the full Senate for consideration, although the timing for further action is uncertain.