February 1, 2017

Weber, Wong Publish “Provocations” on Internet of Things Data

News, Scenario 4

CLTC Faculty Director Steve Weber, together with Richmond Wong, a Ph.D. student in the UC Berkeley School of Information, have published an essay on First Monday, a peer-reviewed online journal, entitled “The New World of Data: Four Provocations on the Internet of Things”.

“We shift the focus of attention in this paper from the Internet of ‘things’ per se, to the data that the Internet of Things will generate,” they write. “The next phase of Internet development will raise new challenges — in particular, around risk, governance, and responsibility — that we articulate here as a forward-looking research and action agenda aimed at maximizing the upside potential of IoT over the next decade.”

In the essay, Weber and Wong—who co-authored the CLTC scenario about the “Intentional Internet of Things”—explore what they say will be “the most critical questions about business models, privacy, economic geography, and security” around Internet of Things data. They explore the “uncertain driving forces that will bear on the future IoT” and reflect on “how the political economy of this next phase of the Internet will interact with privacy, security, politics, and business model issues at a global scale.”

“Acknowledging that the Internet of Things represents a complex assemblage of technologies, people, practices, and institutions, we present a set of arguments that highlight how the different configurations of IoT development and deployment can raise new challenges in a world with IoT data,” they write.  The first key driving force is about business models, particularly the open-closed dimension around standards, data, and intellectual property. The second is an expanded and revised notion of what is commonly called ‘privacy’, but we prefer to call personal data flows (PDFs). The third is a structural, political economy question: will there be one IoT, or many IoTs distinct from each other in national or sectoral bases? The last is about the security dynamic distinctive to IoT systems extended along a massive, unprecedented attack surface.”

Read the full essay here.

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