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If you have devices connected to the Internet, this book about legal pitfalls of the Internet of Things is for you

With Wi-Fi seemingly around most every corner; devices in our hands, bodies, cars and homes connected to the Internet; and questions about the reliability and security of this connectivity, it's inevitable the "Internet of Things" will be the subject of legal battles. A new book by University of Dayton law professor Thaddeus Hoffmeister will help anyone with legal questions and issues about connected devices.

"The Internet of Things is defined as anything embedded with technology to allow it to interact in real time with the environment around it, people or other devices," Hoffmeister said. "At a minimum, anybody with a cell phone or devices hooked to Wi-Fi at home should be concerned about the law of the Internet of things. But if people take the time to drill down further into their everyday lives, this affects banking, medical records and ordering food most anywhere. In 2020, it's a rare occasion when somebody does something that isn't affected by some form of Internet connectivity.

"While all the ramifications of the Internet of Things are not fully understood today, one thing is very clear: the Internet of Things will impact our legal system."

In addition to defining "Internet of Things," the book, The Internet of Things and the Law, examines the current regulatory framework, privacy and security, and contracts and intellectual property related to the Internet of Things plus protections for consumers and how to prosecute offenders.

Hoffmeister has studied the Internet and the law for years. He is the author of Social Media in the Courtroom: A New Era for Criminal Justice? and Social Media Law in a Nutshell, and edits the blog Social Media Law

He teaches courses related to criminal law, technology and juries, and directs the University of Dayton School of Law's Criminal Law Clinic where students represent indigent clients charged with criminal offenses. 

Media around the world have tapped his expertise, including Reuters, the Associated Press, CTV in Canada, Al Jazeera English, NPR and The Wall Street Journal, among others.

Outside of his work in academia, Hoffmeister teaches legal seminars to attorneys and judges, works as an acting magistrate judge in Dayton Municipal Court, and serves as a judge advocate general in the National Guard. He also has been a jury consultant on several high-profile cases including U.S. v. Barry Bonds.

Prior to joining UDSL, Hoffmeister worked on Capitol Hill, served in the military on active duty and clerked for the Honorable Anne E. Thompson, U.S. District Judge for the District of New Jersey. 

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News and Communications Staff