Privacy and the Internet of Things: Why Changing Expectations Demand Heightened Standards


Entertainment consoles, wearable monitors, and security systems. For

better or worse, internet-connected devices are revolutionizing the

consumer products industry. Referred to broadly as the Internet of Things

(IoT), this ‘smart’ technology is drastically increasing the means, scope,

and frequency by which individuals communicate their personal

information. This Note explores the disruptive impact of IoT consumer

devices on the U.S.’s patchwork system of privacy protections. After

presenting a high-level survey of several key regulatory issues, this Note

argues that the proliferation of IoT devices exposes a fundamental flaw in

the Katz “reasonable expectation of privacy” standard. As individual

expectations of privacy rapidly and inevitably deteriorate, societal norms

will follow suit, resulting in a Fourth Amendment standard, which is

incompatible and outdated in this new, interconnected reality.


IoT, tech, privacy, authentication, Katz



Graham Johnson (Washington University School of Law)



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