“According to respondents, the prevalence of proprietary technology, leading at times to the creation of “de facto standards”, together with technology fragmentation and lack of common standards, raise concerns as to the lack of interoperability in the Consumer IoT sector”
”The information collected in the context of the sector inquiry on the consumer IoT will provide guidance to the Commission's future enforcement *and* regulatory activity”
123 pp. and a few 🍵 ☕️ 🍵 ☕️
“National Competition Authorities are also taking an interest in the consumer IoT sector”
The dependence on the infrastructure of well-established cloud service “may come at a price: as other respondents note, the lack of interoperability of data stored and processed in the various clouds makes switching very costly”
Welcome to the silver economy, baby boomers “A respondent.. mentioned the emergence of the “silver economy” as a driver for innovation, as voice activated IoT systems and multiscreen and television enabled monitoring consoles are expected to be quite popular” among us
“'vertically integrated players have built their own ecosystems within and beyond the consumer IoT sector by combining their own and integrating third-party products and services into an offering with a large number of users”
“To achieve interoperability with those technology platforms, smart device manufacturers and consumer IoT service providers need to follow certification processes to gain approval for their customized integrations and abide to…,mostly non-negotiable, terms and conditions”
“Nearly all respondents find full interoperability with [de facto standards] technologies and ecosystems essential to compete, as these technologies are identified as enablers for consumer IoT
products and services”
“Commands already given to one voice assistant constitute “old” speech data, which cannot be used to train a different voice assistant, because of e.g., the lack of industry-wide standards for natural language understanding APIs”
“Most respondents explain that they do not have a mechanism in place for direct transmission of data to another data controller as set out in Article 20(2) GDPR”
“As regards data collected via voice assistants, several respondents to the Sector Inquiry explain that each voice assistant provider has
created its own ecosystem and limits the transfer and portability of data outside of this ecosystem”
“even in the absence of active data sharing, some players will have access to data that relate to a third party's activities in the consumer IoT ecosystem”
“Given the key role that voice assistants play in the consumer IoT sector, leading providers of general-purpose voice assistants get an overview of the services and devices the user interacts with, which puts these players in a privileged position to personalise their offerings”
“voice assistant providers with a large user base are better placed to collect and use customer speech data in order to improve their service, while smaller providers and newcomers on this segment face a shortage of these type of data to develop their technology”
“Other use cases mentioned..concern the usage of data for online advertising purposes…,for enabling online payments and for sharing data with public interest organisations..(e.g. wearable device manufacturers sharing anonymised metrics for public health research
“The consumer IoT sector has unlocked new advertising space possibilities. In particular, some types of smart home devices can show advertisements through displays (e.g. a smart fridge incorporating a display that might advertise food products)”
“A few respondents refer to the possibility of using data for user profiling, in order to evaluate or predict particular aspects about users. Such profiling might be of interest to third parties such as insurance companies or banking institutions” #surveillancecapitalismbeyondads
In relation to interoperability, respondents have raised concerns in relation to two main issues: (i) obstacles regarding access and integration of their products with IoT technology platforms and (ii) the limitation of functionalities for third-party products and services…”
“The costs of hardware resources needed for API integration…raises the burden placed on manufacturers. Hardware requirements may even require changes to products during the development or production process”
“[The] scarce reusability of technical solutions not only hinders interoperability but also slows down the introduction of new consumer IoT products and services” '
“many respondents report that the customization requirements and functionality limitations imposed by each provider make it impossible to offer the same functionalities to the user across various consumer IoT technology platforms”
“leading consumerIoTplayers may have…incentives to restrict the operability of third-party products and services by limiting their
access to the full functionalities of their technology platforms,thus influencing the functionalities and user experience they are able to provide”
“technology platform providers have unrestricted access to their own APIs, which makes interoperability with their first-party products more reliable and enables a richer user experience and smoother functioning”
“limitations risk disincentivising innovative efforts by smart device manufactures and consumer IoT service providers, which might not be able to offer innovative products or ground-breaking functionalities through third-party technology platforms [limiting intra-platform comp]”
“respondents express the view that, whether via standardisation or independent alliances, major technology companies mostly take the lead and impose their own technology solutions [hampering the]general willingness of other,smaller,companies to invest in collaborative innovation”
“Because of the current lack of standards in relation to data formats,
respondents fear that owners of the most widely used proprietary technologies would end up imposing their data formats to the industry”
“bigger firms draw economic benefits from advertising,allowing them to subsidise their consumer IoT products and services,thus expanding their presence in all consumer IoT segments.According to some r…,these strategies put smaller players at a disadvantage and raise [B2E]”
“Respondents have indicated that pre-installation, default-setting and prominence practices impact the discoverability of consumer IoT services to the extent that it becomes a competitive (dis-)advantage”
“The preliminary results…indicate that attempts to secure exclusivity of voice assistant presence on smart devices could potentially raise competition concerns if they prevent other competing voice assistants from being built-in simultaneously on the devices”
“Certain concerns about the inability to allow for concurrent use of voice assistants on smart devices have been raised during the Sector Inquiry” and fn.
“leading consumer IoT technology platform providers fully control the experience relating to their first-party products from the very
beginning of the user interaction,collect relevant user data and in most cases do not depend on a third party to solve…accessibility issues”
One creative content service provider explains that…”intermediation happens with no algorithmic transparency, eventually forcing service providers to pay if they want their content to be visible to consumers”
“lack of automatic data gathering prevents third-party consumer IoT service providers from customising the user experience in real time and reportedly puts them at a competitive disadvantage with respect to the first-party services offered by” the usual suspects
“some wearable manufacturers have also experienced difficulties with app store providers that block, remove or delay the approval of their companion apps”
And thinking also of @CERRE_ThinkTank report “We…see a difference between internet-enabled devices (e.g., smart kitchen
appliances…) and general internet access devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.), while noting that some grey zones may exist” cerre.eu/wp-content/upl…

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More from @wavesblog

8 Jun
...ceteris paribus discussion so far...Sure, no interoperability unless mandated, for instance...
"harm to security and privacy"...where did I hear this argument, recently 🤔?
Read 7 tweets
21 May
Discussing data ecosystems…Fascinating - I wonder what the inspiration was 🤔 #tilting2021
Important point raised during the discussion...What about discussing data ecosystems’ issues and remedies beyond traditional Big Tech? #tilting2021
Great comments @JusTechne “Evolutionary economics” expanded, perhaps
Read 10 tweets
20 May
Great discussion on diversity and/for innovation in competition policy #tilting2021
Can’t wait to know more about the Common European Agricultural Data Space, @DigitalEU - aptly mentioned here today by @CanAtik1 #tilting2021 - it could indeed solve many problems at once...
I tried to operationalise this in a longish work related to vertical restraints gbv.de/dms/zbw/548213… - but that was really *ages* ago (possibly not very useful anymore)
Read 4 tweets
19 May
Hopefully looking beyond digital advertising...
Let’s talk about power: indeed.
Read 8 tweets
13 May
Not talking #DMA #19aGWB specifically“. Some personal highlights: “In practice...market failure is often used as shorthand for a large number of justifications for public intervention in the operation of markets”
Box 1 {with its own footnotes} is mythbustingly useful.
Read 19 tweets
13 May
A 🧵with some highlights while quickly reading it for the first time (very personal choice)
"Google's conduct should be seen in the context of the competitive relationship between the Google Maps app and the JuicePass app"
Read 89 tweets

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