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Diem Hoang Nguyen


Published online: 21 January 2016

Ethical Design: The Brightest Beacon For Privacy Protection in Internet of Things

Ethical Design opens new window for empowering users when interacting with IoT system.

This research was conducted by a group of researchers from various institutions in Europe.The concept Ethical Design is introduced to refer the IoT products which are designed to help individual users protect their personal data and information as well as enable them to frame their ethical choices whenever value-laden issues emerge.

The IoT products based on an Ethical Design should be capable of providing control   of   the  collection and distribution  of  data  or  services  related  to  the  user.  In  other  words,  they  aim  to support  the  ethical  capabilities  of  human  beings  such  as  agency,  awareness  and reflexivity    (requiring    transparency     on   how   data   are  collected    and   distributed). Also, they can enforce  different  regulations or cultures along  the  dimensions  of time (e.g., cultural or regulatory changes) or space (e.g., different nations). Last but not least, they are able to supporting dynamic contexts (e.g., house, office) and able to perceive, identify  and support relationships, which require ethical choices.


Ethical Design model is implemented by policy-based framework. In this framework, user interaction with IoT devices will be controlled by set of security policy configuration rules that specify the conditions when a set of enforcement policy templates should be activated. The policy-based framework can give more control to the user and it can automate some of the complex decision processes in the interaction of the user with the IoT, but a complementary set of regulatory measures and best practices could make the application more effective.


This research was conducted by a group of researchers from various institutions in Europe: European Commission,Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy,  GNKS Consult ,Rotterdam,The Netherlands and Universita ’ Cattolica S.C.,Milan, Italy.


If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with other authors, please contact:Maarten Botterman at maarten@gnksconsult.com, Ricardo Neisse at Ricardo.Neisse@jrc.ec.europa.eu and Mariachiara Tallacchini at mariachiara.tallacchini@unicatt.it.



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