The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to garner much attention even during a busy Washington, D.C. news cycle. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the latest federal agency to weigh in on IoT. In its recent report, "Cybersecurity Risk Reduction," the FCC warned of a growing divide between the security expectations of consumers of IoT products and the cybersecurity that manufacturers actually build into the products. The agency is calling for stakeholder input this spring to improve the safety of these devices.
Market analysts predict that by 2020, the market for IoT technologies, products, and services will exceed $267B. Given this impact, regulators across the federal government have claimed jurisdiction over this broad collection of technology, data, and products. Recently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) developed a set of guiding principles to secure the Internet of Things. Last month, the Department of Commerce issued a document called "Guiding Principles for Internet of Things." Three weeks ago, the Federal Trade Commission unveiled a $25,000 reward program for consumers who head off the next cybersecurity and privacy risk associated with IoT devices. Pundits caution that such broad definitions and jurisdiction over IoT in Washington could lead to regulatory uncertainty, implementation issues, and unintended consequences for manufacturers and suppliers of this technology.
SETTING THE STANDARDS
In the wake of its report, the FCC published a notice of inquiry to begin the rulemaking process to discuss the diverse cybersecurity concerns in IoT and help shape future rules. The FCC seeks comments from a wide variety of stakeholders, including equipment manufacturers, who can discuss "security by design" practices to build cybersecurity into their products before marketing them. Comments are due by Apr. 24, 2017, and reply comments are due by May 23, 2017. We'll stay connected to these issues as the new administration takes over this rulemaking.
WHO'S GONNA DRIVE YOU HOME?
New Jersey lawmakers introduced legislation that would require owners of driverless cars to maintain liability insurance coverage. If A. 4504 passes, New Jersey would become the third state in the nation, after Nevada and Florida, to require that owners of autonomous vehicles maintain liability insurance coverage. This deviates from traditional auto coverage that relates to a driver's individual liability.
Market analysts are carefully watching for fluctuations in the demand for personal auto coverage and the expected increase in product liability insurance among car manufacturers. National Conference of State Legislatures reports that since 2011 nine states have enacted laws permitting some form of testing of autonomous vehicles. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has issued autonomous vehicle testing permits to 21 entities and the US Department of Transportation will open 10 autonomous testing tracksacross the country this year to foster competition and collaboration among the nation's autonomous car builders. We will continue to follow the legislative activity and insurance products that are trying to keep pace with this rapidly developing technology.
Making Our Way Around The Country
IF YOU BUILD IT
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Denver introduced a bi-partisan bill aimed at curbing legal fees in construction defect suits. The measure, S.B. 45, would allow a court to determine the allocation of defense costs among prime contractors and subcontractors defending allegedly defective construction. Traditionally, disputes among a general contractor and its subcontractors exacerbate costs and delay resolution. Both homebuilders and consumer groups are looking to the General Assembly to support reasonable legislation to spur homebuilding in the Centennial State.
A Florida Senate committee is moving forward with a proposal (S.B. 158) that would provide increased benefits for firefighters who are disabled or die after contracting certain types of cancer. The bill would create a legal presumption that firefighters who suffer from multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, prostate cancer, or testicular cancer contracted the diseases in the line of duty. Additionally, the Florida Senate introduced S.B. 516, a bill that would create an easier path for first responders to collect benefits for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). New Mexico H.B. 157 would also add PTSD and mental disorders to the list of firefighter occupational diseases presumed to be caused by firefighting work.
OUTSIDE THE LOWER 48
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker introduced legislation to streamline the state's workers compensation program by improving claim dispute resolution, accelerating care for injured workers and deterring insurance fraud. Lawmakers in Hawaii are seeking to reduce payments for prescription drugs by limiting the authorization of doctors to dispense drugs to the first 90 days from the date of injury. Hawaii H. B. 1117 and S.B. 983would limit doctors to dispensing an initial 30-day supply of a Schedule II controlled substance and restrict the reimbursement rates for compound drugs for any 30-day prescription period.
SHOW ME THE WAY
The Missouri General Assembly will consider the bi-partisan Narcotics Control Act that would create the Show Me State's first state-wide prescription drug monitoring program. Presently, Missouri has a patchwork of county and municipal monitoring programs. At the same time, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill announced federal money from the 2016 Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act is now available for Missouri cities and towns to implement their own prescription drug monitoring programs.
Climatologists will meet in western Pennsylvania tomorrow to collect critical data about seasonal change. Climate experts will compare tomorrow's observations with an uninterrupted data set that extends back to 1898 to determine its predictive value. So for those of us in winter climates, let's visualize the evening sun hitting the buildings in Rome, pour a glass of sweet vermouth over rocks and drink to world peace.
About The Way
The Way is Gallagher Bassett's weekly governmental briefing on state and federal affairs that affect our industry. We thank you for starting your Wednesday morning with us. Please be sure to follow #GBTheWay for additional news and updates as we make our way throughout the country on the issues affecting our industry. For more information, please connect with GB on LinkedIn, follow us on Twitter, or contact the authors, Greg McKenna or Cari Miller, directly.