Consumer Cloud Robotics and the Fair Information Practice Principles: The Policy Risks and Opportunities Ahead
Kris Hauser, Andrew A. Proia, Drew T. Simshaw
Rapid technological innovation has made commercially accessible consumer robotics a reality. At the same time, individuals and organizations are turning to “the cloud” for more convenient and cost effective data storage and management. It seemed only inevitable that these two technologies would merge to create “cloud robotics,” described by Google Research Scientist Dr. James Kuffner as “a new approach to robotics that takes advantage of the Internet as a resource for massively parallel computation and sharing of vast data resources.” By making robots lighter, cheaper, and more efficient, cloud robotics could be the catalyst for a mainstream consumer robotics marketplace. However, this new industry would join a host of modern consumer technologies that seem to have rapidly outpaced the legal and regulatory regimes implemented to protect consumers. Recently, consumer advocates and the tech industry have focused their attention on information privacy and security, and how to establish sufficient safeguards for the collection, retention, and dissemination of personal information while still allowing technologies to flourish.
Underlying a majority of these proposals, whether it be through legislation or industry self-regulation, are a set of practices, articulated in the 1970s, that address how personal information should be collected, used, retained, managed, and deleted, known as the Fair Information Practice Principles (“FIPPs”).This paper first will provide a brief history of the FIPPs, focusing primarily on their influence in the consumer space. This section will examine how the original FIPPs came into existence and how they have taken shape in the national and international communities. It will also detail three influential variations of the FIPPs which are likely to influence the information privacy and security regulations of cloud robotics in U.S. consumer products. Second, this paper will introduce many within the information law and policy realm to the vastly advancing (yet little known) technology known as cloud robotics. Then, with the help of privacy fellows and roboticists, the paper dissects how each principle, and its relevant variations, will affect the efficiency and interoperability of cloud robotics in the consumer marketplace.
By providing practical observations of how cloud robotics may emerge in a consumer marketplace regulated by the FIPPs, this research will help both the information privacy and robotics fields in beginning to address the policy risks and opportunities ahead.
Andrew A. Proia and Drew T. Simshaw will discuss “Consumer Cloud Robotics and the Fair Information Practice Principles: The Policy Risks and Opportunities Ahead” as part of the Panel on Robots and Social Justice moderated by Kate Darling on Friday, April 4th at 2:00 PM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida.