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Legal Implications of eSIM Technology for IoT Connectivity

— April 26, 2023

Overall, eSIMs look likely to be the next big advancement in cell phone technology – and any other tech with a SIM card.

As eSIMs become more prevalent in our everyday lives, it’s essential to keep up with their legal implications. The impact of eSIMS on IoT and M2M connectivity is a crucial part of the future of technology in the 21st century. You’re not alone if you’re confused by some of these more unfamiliar terms.

What is an eSIM?

Even though a lot of people make use of eSIMS regularly, most people haven’t heard the term before. An eSIM is similar to a regular SIM card that you would physically insert into your cell phone. The ‘e’ in eSIM stands for embedded, and these SIM cards come pre-installed in your cell when you purchase.

More and more phone manufacturers are using eSIMS. Apple, for example, stopped including SIM card trays with the September 2022 release of the iPhone 14. There are a lot of pros to using eSIMs that make them good for manufacturers and users.

What are the benefits of an eSIM?

One of the most significant benefits of eSIMs is that the user can connect their cell phone to a carrier easily. They can also switch carriers more quickly and easily – and it’s even possible to support multiple networks with eSIMs.

It’s also more environmentally friendly to use eSIMS. Although a regular SIM card’s plastic and cardboard packaging is minimal, it adds up pretty fast when everyone and their dog gets a cell phone. Removing the need for this waste significantly affects the damage done by phone-related waste.

An eSIM is also more convenient for travel or remote working. While removing a physical SIM can easily lead to losing it or damaging it and making it unusable, eSIMs pose no such problem. It’s easy enough to switch between plans and carriers without having to think about which SIM needs to be in your phone and when.

How do eSIMs impact IoT and M2M connectivity?

For all things technology, security is always one of the biggest concerns. The increasing omnipresence of IoT calls for even more focused technological security.

What is IoT?

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Photo by Leon Seibert on Unsplash

The term IoT stands for Internet of Things. This acronym refers to physical items like baby monitors, refrigerators, and televisions with embedded technology that allows them to connect to the internet. This is where M2M connectivity comes into play. Machine-to-machine connectivity is the term for devices that can share data autonomously.

Everyday objects like cars and digital assistants (Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, for example) sharing data has positives and negatives. For one, seamless data sharing between devices means more efficient tech. The minimal need for human intervention in this process means time saved – it’s also ideal for people with limited technological knowledge.

One significant disadvantage of IoT is security, which also applies to those with less tech know-how. Solid and secure passwords are essential for any device with an internet connection. Without this, it’s all too easy for hackers to gain access. This is especially prevalent for devices like baby monitors and home security systems that have in-built cameras and microphones.

The legal implications of eSIMs

The use of an eSIM in cell phones leads to increased security standards. The responsibility of establishing end-to-end security between cell phones and other devices is down to the provider creating the phone’s operating system.

This means consumers have a simpler time ensuring their phones are secure. Some providers also incorporate the option for IoT of further password-based encryption. Compared to the traditional plastic SIM card, this is certainly an improvement. 

Regulations surrounding eSIMs are still catching up, and there are no international standards for their use. Several countries, including the U.S., have instated regulations surrounding cybersecurity for IoT infrastructures. However, the specific impact of eSIMs on IoT remains to be seen.

Overall, eSIMs look likely to be the next big advancement in cell phone technology – and any other tech with a SIM card. Increasing the ease of interconnectivity and communication for IoT and M2M is a big element of the growth of eSIM. Keeping an ear to the ground regarding new laws and regulations surrounding this tech will be crucial in the coming years. 

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