VIDEO: Manufacturers — who owns the IIoT data you collect?

With the IoT producing growing volumes of data, the question of who owns that data and how it can be used has never been pertinent, particularly for manufacturers.

At the Internet of Manufacturing event in Munich, Germany, Internet of Business caught up with senior figures at Siemens, Volvo and Konecranes, to discuss IoT data, who owns it, and how to manage data privacy.

Importance of data legislation

According to Niels Haverkorn, vice president connected solutions at Volvo CE, it’s quite clear that operational data is owned by the customers in a manufacturer/customer relationship. However, what’s not so clear is who owns the data when a customer’s employee is running a machine owned by the manufacturer. He wants to know who owns the data then and how data privacy is affected.

Thomas Hahn, chief expert software at Siemens, also emphasized this point.

Using the example of a production site that produces customer goods, Hahns asks who owns the data on the production line? He feels there needs to be more clarity on who own the IP.

Likewise, with autonomous driving, when we have data in the car, which is the IP of car manufacturers or the driver of the car, Hahn asks how we can exchange that data so that the car can run properly and ensure you meet data privacy regulations.

Haverkorn suggests this is exacerbated by the different data privacy policies deployed globally. He feels that the new legislation coming to Europe in 2018 – under the General Data Protection Regulation – will go some way to addressing that by putting a focus on privacy by design, and through large penalties for data breaches, but more needs to be done.

Related: Privacy and IoT: innovative regulations needed to regulate innovation

One solution for manufacturers

Juha Pankakoski, chief digital officer, Konecranes also told IoB that there is a national, political and business interest in finding a solution to this data problem.

From his perspective, his company works with customers to define who owns the data and how they can use it to better manage operations. This, he says, is how to avoid mistakes without playing with customer data and customer promises.

Not everyone is doing this, however, and those that don’t will either face significant fines or irreparable brand damage. Possibly both.

Do you have a view on IoT data ownership? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter.

Related: ICO crackdown on Internet of Things device privacy

With a 100 percent manufacturing audience, the second-annual Internet of Manufacturing conference is a two-day forum that gives senior leaders of innovation the chance to benchmark their projects and engage with a select group of technology companies. The emphasis is on senior-level interactions, not vendor sales pitches or IoT hype. Click the above link or the logo for more information.