Internet of Things and Consumer Privacy


Research paper Privacy in a world of the Internet of Things: A legal and regulatory perspective released January 2018.

Conference paper Intelligent Warning Systems: ‘Nudges’ as a Form of User Control for Internet of Things Data Collection and Use, presented 19 August 2017.

Journal article Towards responsive regulation of the Internet of Things: Australian perspectives, Internet Policy Review, vol.6, no.1, 14 March 2017.

Journal article Privacy and the Internet of Things, Media and Arts Law Review, vol.21, no.3, 2016.

Journal article The Internet of Things (IoT) and its impact on individual privacy: An Australian perspective, Computer Law & Security Review, vol.32, no.1, February 2016.

Presented at International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI 2017) at workshop Linked Democracy: Artificial Intelligence for Democratic Innovation, 19 August 2017.

Is digital connectivity threatening your privacy? by Jennifer Thomas and Rachelle Bosua, Pursuit, 14 March 2017.

Presented at Networked Society Symposium 2016 as part of Convenience vs. Privacy: the consumer’s dilemma in a networked society session, 11 November 2016.

Can we expect privacy in an Internet of Things world?, by Kate Murray, Melbourne Networked Society Institute, 23 March 2016.

Project Outline

The Internet of Things (IoT) promises a new world where almost every conceivable physical item sends and receives data via the Internet. The potential to transform physical 'things' such as toothbrushes and pacemakers into interconnected and intelligent devices from which data can be generated, shared, and analysed, ushers in unprecedented business opportunities.

However, the prospect of such comprehensive and all-encompassing collection of data inextricably linked to the lives of humans raises troubling scenarios. For example consumer surveillance, identity theft, invasive marketing, and more potent hacking methods affecting personal lives, including the most sensitive private information.

This projects explores the following three research questions:

  1. How do consumers feel about privacy in a world of increased connectivity enabled by the IoT?
  2. How can privacy–by-design be effectively built into the IoT development process without stifling innovation and creativity? and
  3. How can 3rd party users (i.e. data analysts) of IoT data meet and adhere to consumer’s privacy needs?

Initial findings indicate that consumers are concerned about their privacy and data protection.

While privacy views and needs vary, most consumers want greater control of their privacy commensurate with the purpose, use and service delivery associated with their data. In particular, consumers want greater transparency in terms of knowing who benefits from their data, how and when their data is used, and for what purposes.

Effective means of giving consent and assurance of anonymity and encryption of their data throughout the data life cycle were also part of the requirements.

Research Team


Seed Funding 2015