recommended reading

Privacy, spectrum among top mobile issues

Ersler Dmitry/Shutterstock.com

Mobile industry policy experts on Thursday said cybersecurity, privacy, and spectrum would be among the top issues facing the mobile industry in 2013.

"When I think about the next year, I think the president is focused on moving this economic engine, this dynamo forward," Jim Kohlenberger, former chief of staff at the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Obama administration, said at an event sponsored by Mobile Future, a coalition of tech companies. But he added that "we've got big things we need to do, [such as] getting more spectrum into people's hands. We have to solve important privacy and security challenges."

The need for more spectrum has topped the wireless industry's wish lists in recent years and will continue to do so in 2013 despite steps taken by Congress and the Obama administration to free up more airwaves to fuel Americans' demand for new wireless technologies. These steps include an executive order by the president to find 500 megahertz of spectrum over the next decade for mobile broadband and passage of spectrum legislation that authorized incentive auctions to entice television stations to voluntarily give up some of their spectrum.

"This president has laid out a very aggressive mobile agenda and has begun to execute on it. I think the next four years are really going to be about execution, execution, execution," said Bryan Tramont, a managing partner at Wilkinson, Barker and Knauer who served as chief of staff to former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell.

Some of the challenges the administration will face in implementing its spectrum policies include trying to get federal government users to give up their spectrum for commercial providers and effective implementation by the FCC of the incentive auction process, he said.

While spectrum will continue to be a top concern, other panelists also said privacy and cybersecurity will continue to be challenges in the mobile space that the administration will want to address.

"The priorities that were going to see very soon are going to be around the ideas or issues surrounding cybersecurity and around privacy," Rob Painter, managing director for the venture capital firm Razor's Edge Ventures.

Earlier this year, the administration unveiled a proposal to boost online consumer privacy through a consumer "Privacy Bill of Rights." While the White House called on Congress to implement this proposal through legislation, it also is pushing for industry to implement some of the principles through voluntary industry codes of conduct. The first industry stakeholder effort aimed at developing these codes of conduct is focused on increasing transparency in what data is collected by mobile applications.

Tramont noted that companies that want to do business in the mobile space face a challenging landscape in trying to figure out what kind of information they need to provide consumers about their privacy practices given the different messages coming out of the federal government, states, and industry self-regulatory efforts.

"There is lot of consumer behavior that is shifting around consumer privacy and I think it is a fundamental challenge for us as an industry to make sure we come up with the right path forward," he said.

(Image via Ersler Dmitry/Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.