Privacy in an Internet of Things world research paper launched

The Internet of Things and Consumer Privacy research project focused on three key questions:

  • How do IoT users (or consumers) perceive ‘data privacy’ in a connected world of greater connectivity enabled by the IoT
  • What are specific individuals’ IoT-related data privacy concerns
  • What can be done from a regulatory perspective to address individuals’ data privacy concerns?

Findings from the research project have now been published in the research paper Privacy in a world of the Internet of Things: A legal and regulatory perspective which rethinks what ‘privacy’ means to individuals and IoT designers/developers in the realm of increasing digital connectivity.

The paper ultimately highlights four recommendations:

  1. Data privacy is important in a more connected world enabled by the IoT
  2. Forms of consent for IoT data collection needs to be adapted to cater for today’s modern IT user requirements
  3. Incorporation of ‘privacy-by-design’ in the IoT development process may improve data privacy-related concerns
  4. A responsive regulation approach that includes ‘privacy-by-design’, consumer and data protection standards, and privacy type doctrines may enhance IoT privacy/data protection.

The world of digital connectivity is changing rapidly as a result of the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT). Representing one of the most disruptive technologies of our time, the IoT is an emerging global internet-based architecture that seamlessly integrates multiple data collection devices that collect, interchange and process data. Examples of IoT devices include wearables that monitor and track our wellbeing based on daily physical activities such as running or walking, medical devices that monitor and track intake of and responses to medication, and surveillance devices that track and monitor movement related to patient rehabilitation following accidents or age-related degeneration.

While the IoT holds great promise in terms of facilitating the collection and processing of data to improve and customise service delivery, there is a need to rethink what ‘privacy’ means to individuals and IoT designers/developers in the realm of increasing digital connectivity, and more generally how personal information should be collected, stored, transmitted and used. Moreover, what are legal perspectives on data privacy in an increasingly connected world enabled by the IoT?

Findings from this research works to inform regulation and policy around connectivity and privacy, but it also works to inform those designing and building new connected devices to integrate privacy concerns into their design. This paper is a great read for academics looking at issues facing the networked society but also for lawmakers, tech designers, IoT developers, and anyone with an interest in the notion of privacy in an increasingly connected world.

Click through to access the full version of Privacy in a world of the Internet of Things: A legal and regulatory perspective or check out our Publications section for further reading from the Networked Society Institute.

More Information

Kate Murray

networked-society@unimelb.edu.au

8344 5335