2018 Will Be a Year of Major Internet Milestones

Connected Life, Cyber Politics, Security & Privacy

Our experts have made some fantastic predictions about larger trends to expect in 2018, but you don’t need to a crystal ball to know that we’re about to cross some other extraordinary milestones were’s almost certainly going to pass in the next 12 months.

1. The number of consumer IoT units will near the human population of Earth.
If Gartner’s projections were correct, 2017 was the year that number of total connected things exceeded the number of humans on this planet by almost billion with 8.3 billion units installed. In 2018, the number of consumer Internet of Things units — like smart TVs, thermostats, webcams and refrigerators — is expected to exceed 7 billion. Mass adoption of the IoT is happening at incredible speed. Unfortunately, the security of IoT devices isn’t keeping up.

2. Europe’s GDPR will go into effect.
“The EU General Data Protection Regulation – in short, the GDPR – marks the biggest change in EU data privacy laws in more than 20 years, and it will have a transformative effect on the way companies manage and secure personal data,” our Business Security Insider blog reported. And it’s going into effect in May of 2018, whether you like it our not. These new regulations will set standards that nearly every multi-national company on the planet will have to contend with. Businesses will either transform to meet the standards or deal with the consequences. The reality of this may become messy and confusing, warns F-Secure Privacy Officer Hannes Saarinen. Because as of now, Germany is the only country ready to actually implement the GDPR.

3. The end of net neutrality in the U.S.
On December 14 of 2017, a majority of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission will likely vote to revoke the 2014 rules known as net neutrality. According to TechCrunch, “Net neutrality prevents internet service providers from prioritizing data for businesses and other organizations that they favor or that pay more. The rules keep the internet open, free and unrestricted, preventing ISPs from becoming gatekeepers that can control and manipulate what people access on the internet.” Opponents of net neutrality argue the repeal of the rules will spark innovation while leaving customers protected by the U.S.’s Federal Trade Commission, though a lawsuit in federal court leaves that contention in doubt. Europe’s Net Neutrality will not be immediately affected by the decision, though the continent does have its own opponents of the policy. What should you expect from an internet without Net Neutrality in the country that provides 7 of 10 of the globe’s most popular online services?

In 2018, we will begin to find out.

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