|The European Commission is extending a probe into the spread of the
internet. The regulator says it expects an explosion in the number of
household appliances and other devices connected to the net before 2020.
It is launching a consultation over controls of the way information is
gathered, stored and processed, saying it wants to 'ensure the rights of
individuals are respected'. The public is being invited to send in its
views before a 12 July deadline.
The commission says that the average person living within the EU has at
least two devices connected to the net at present - typically a computer
and smartphone. It expects the figure to rise to seven by 2015, with a
total of 25bn wirelessly connected to the net worldwide. By the end of
the decade it says that could climb to 50bn. The spread of
wireless-connected devices has been dubbed 'the internet of things' and
has previously identified as potential catalyst to the economy.
The commission said it plans to publish its recommendations by the
summer of 2013.