Executive Summary by Sannebr

Energy production is a contested field. With Oil and Gas companies trying to defend their fossil sources, it is an imperative to policy makers and environmental activists to convince the public of more sustainable methods of production. With manmade climate change already in effect, scientists, environmentalists, governments and many sections of the public in the west have come to the conclusion, that something has to be changed. The direction hereby is quite clear: To combat climate change, renewable energy is the future. But there is also the political obstacle, in that policy is the only way forward, but politics often is not a straight, logical process.

Changing the public’s minds is a door-opener in democracies, because ultimately only they can create the pressures necessary for long-term change. This is why we are proposing some alternative methods of convincing people to rethink energy productions. Renewable Energy has in recent years become a central part of our all lives. This might surprise statistically, since renewable energy covers only a fraction of the global energy production, with oil, coal, and gas still dominating while wind, water, biological and other electricity barely visible in statistics.

Successful research is mainly facilitated in the European Union, the UK and the United States, who constitute major players in researching and testing new technologies, and in educating the public through campaigns. This is also a very competitive market, with many projects running at the same time, start-ups appearing and dying or being bought, ideas being created, prototypes tested, and successes planned, while in some cases those innovations get forgotten.

Actual change through policy, resulting in laws and regulations that can curb fossil energy sources and promote renewables eventually depend on the people. Changing public perception of renewable energy, and its visible counterparts, the infrastructure is necessary to enable policy changes that favor renewable energy technologies. This leads to informative educational campaigns and other integrations of ‘renewable energy’ as a topic into the everyday life of citizens being of key importance.

Tackling negative associations is part of this endeavor. researchers face the question of how to redefine the public’s understanding of the infrastructures that support our lives.  Renewable energy infrastructures often appear vastly different than conventional energy infrastructures. They occupy the landscape, sometimes nearly invisible, sometimes jarring, but seeming alien to people’s collective perception. They are alien in the sense that they are unfamiliar, new and strange to us. This can lead to misconceptions and negative attitudes, that policy makers have to target.

Projects on the islands of Orkney, an Island chain at the north-east end of Scotland, serves as a warning to forgetting existing infrastructure and technology. As a researcher points out on her blog, Orkney has in the last couple of years been a hub for research and development of water and wind energy projects alike. While it’s rough, windy and wavy climate supports the creation of energy, sadly Orkneys electricity grid is separate from that of the mainland. This means energy created on the isles stays trapped there.

There is another factor of waste at play here. It is necessary to remember the strides that have been made in renewable energy technologies. Orkney has served as a testing site for smart grid technology research for almost a decade. Despite that, the UK National Infrastructure Commission proposes the development and linking of technologies abroad, that already have been prototyped at Orkney. Instead of consigning “old” technologies to oblivion, it would be more sensible to build on top of them. In order to stay efficient one should not overlook prior investments and successes.

How do we sway the public opinion then towards appreciating the importance of considering the role of renewable energy technologies and infrastructures in the future? Researchers employ new approaches to drawing our attention towards infrastructures. For example, researchers have envisioned the “Energy Walk”, a journey throughout a Danish coastal village accompanied by a walking stick with an embedded set of headphones. Embarking on the walk whilst listening to the audio recordings played from the digital walking stick is akin to an aesthetic experience: it asks the participant consider various things they encounter related to energy and infrastructures along the way, and to consider their past, future and alternatives.

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Executive summary by Alexcecilie

Data is often described as “the new oil”, which implies its newfound value in modern society. With the emergent increase of new technologies and thus more data, large companies can gain almost unlimited access to knowledge about the citizens’ preferences, habits, and whereabouts. This is happening without individual citizen participation as the data collection is happening in non-transparent terms, which makes data handling an ethical issue. This report will propose the importance of making the data collection happen in more plain terms, where the power will be given back to the individual – a responsibility placed on large organizations, as they are the ones producing the software, which collects the data. As there is so much data which is used worldwide, this report argues that one law cannot satisfy all stakeholders – instead, the way of handling data and privacy issues should be to make individual privacy settings possible.

The interconnection between technologies is referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). This implies that all technologies are connected and can exchange data, e.g. the smartphone can be connected to the car. This creates great possibilities and efficiency for the individual. Imagine finding a destination on your smartphone, then go to your car and connect it to your phone, so it can show the way on the car’s’ GPS.

Findings related to consent policy show a clear lack of specification and consistency, making them hard to understand and locate. For example, IoT devices such as fitness watches and home electricity devices lack a keyboard or touchscreen, which means that it cannot ‘ask’ for user consent. The user must actively search for the consent form online, which studies show, is extremely difficult to find. Furthermore, the ambiguous language used in consent forms makes it tough for users to know exactly what they are accepting. Lastly, the policies are inconsistent in access, modification and deletion rights for the user.

Drifting away in the possibilities of IoT, one may forget the fact that it has not been engineered to actually protect data security. Yet another crucial finding within this project is the issue of the vulnerabilities of these IoT devices to hacking and other security breaches. What has been discovered is that there often exists a trade-off between battery efficiency and device security, from the manufacturers perspective. This absence of thinking about security can lead to new ways of attack, data being breached, stolen and compromised. What IoT does, is merely to turn everyday life objects into an information security target, while distributing those targets far more widely than the current version of the Internet – thus enhancing the risks of security.

Intrusion on privacy has been recognized as yet another interrelated challenge with IoT. The issue originates in different things, such as the user being unaware of the quantity and detail of gathered data, and the extensive profiling capabilities of the ever more data that is generated by IoT. The Smart Home as an example, is a home made up of a variety of consumer sensor devices, including thermostats, internet, television, energy management, security etc., all generating piles of data that can be assembled, further analyzed, and reveal specific aspects of habits, behaviors and preferences of the people living there. Gathered data that is considered very sensitive. The challenge of privacy is also bound in the users’ lack of control over their data. This is especially clear when third-party monitors are used, as they may not even ensure the data to be used for the original purpose(s).

Privacy and security policies within the IoT network needs to be up to date and clear to users. This is not only in the best interest of the user but also the enterprises offering IoT devices, who avoid lawsuits and complaints by satisfying privacy and security needs through a clear and concise policy framework.  Organizations, who fail to meet needs and demands in an increasingly digitized and technological future, will become outdated and redundant.

With the ethics surrounding IoT, tailor-made solutions are the best way to integrate privacy regulations into companies as well as to the individual citizen. The report proposes a way to allow users to take control of their own privacy measures. Every user should judge for themselves what type of data should and should not be shared. For this to work, companies need to be transparent in their handling of data and enhance education for users. Especially those who are not as computer affine as the younger generation are required to make well-informed decisions about their privacy settings. An initial advancement in privacy policy framework, SecKit, offers a software program, which allows users to use pre-existing policies or completely customize their own.

 

 

LACK OF SECURITY WILL SEND THE INTERNET OF THINGS TO A SCREECHING HALT by Alexcecilie

Fostering A Better Internet Of Things

With the increase in connectivity within the Internet of things, a multitude of opportunities are presented, however, there is also a list of potential problems. Problems concerning security and privacy of the large amounts of data produced by these devices.

Digital progress and globalization have severely changed the way personal data is collected, stored and utilized. This has meant that the rather outdated data protection rules presented in 1995, need strengthening as well as a clarification to stay relevant with the current advancements in technology.

According to, information technology research and advisory company Gartner (2016) by 2020, more than 25% of identified attacks in enterprises will involve IoT, from an estimated 8.4 billion connected “things” that will be in use, making the changes to privacy laws and regulations more crucial than ever before.

The European Commission presents the new set of data protection rules in order to strengthen the fundamental rights of the citizen, in an increasingly digitalized and connected society. Initially proposed in 2012, the European commission has worked on formulating and shaping the different rules in order to present a more current framework. While the Regulation will enter into force on 24 May 2016, they will apply from 25 May 2018. The Directive enters into force on 5 May 2016 and EU Member States have to transpose it into their national law by 6 May 2018 (European Commission, 2016).

The new set of rules is intended to increase users control over data as well as provide organizations with better possibilities of utilizing the available data while cutting costs, resulting in a better payoff.

The new rules give you the rights to complain as well as to gain compensation if personal data is being misused. The new regulations and directives include but (are) not limited to the following, obtaining unambiguous consent, ceasing from processing personal data revealing, amongst others, ethnic origin, political opinions and religious beliefs, the data subject’s right of access to data, and the right to object to the processing of data (European Commission, 2016).

However, with the technological advancements we see today, it is paramount that security progression is incessantly advanced upon; it is of paramount importance that adjustments and specifications are adjusted over time to reflect the change in society and thereby continuously securing users.

For additional information please visit ‘The European Commission’ website at http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/index_en.htm, where you can read the complete reform of the data protection rules.

Sources:

http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3291817

http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/reform/index_en.htm

 

Alexcecilie

The paper introduces Internet of Things in relation to data privacy, elucidating the new security aspects, which emerge with the expansion of the Internet into IoT networks. The paper lists the challenges connected to the expansion of IoT and the implications these have for the user. The introduction to IoT is a segue into presenting possible solutions for the challenges posed.

We are then introduced to the concept of Ethical Design, which encourages the user to interact with IoT, so to interconnect user and IoT. The concept of Ethical Design is further elaborated through an example of a policy-based framework called SecKit, which provides the user with more power over and insight into their data and the complexity of the IoT network.

The SecKit framework support users in securing their interaction with IoT; a combination of the SecKit framework and existing laws and regulations ensures this.

Throughout the paper there are references to other reports or scientific papers, they are placed within the text as a way for readers to navigate to the information, for example, “For specific privacy aspects, see Heurix et al. (2015) for a taxonomy of privacy enhancing technologies. “ (Baldini, 2016, p.12)

However, these references are placed in a way, which disturbs the flow and forces the reader to consider whether this is important information. These should be placed in footnotes to not disturb the flow of reading and allow the reader to return to the information later on.

Another aspect which disturbs the flow of reading is the fact that Baldini et al. uses Latin words where English would be satisfactory, an example of this: “…inter alia includes requirements for facilitating easy access…”(Baldini et al., 2016, p.4). Inter Alia could easily be replaced by the English phrase ‘among other things’.

Lastly, I would like to touch upon the notion of implicit knowledge in the paper, specifically in the last section on ‘Policy Based Approach on Ethical Design’; we are presented with the term ‘Graphical User Interface’ (p 16), a technical software term, which Baldini et al. fails to explain. Furthermore, the word is shortened to GUI and is not written out again. As mentioned in the book ‘Elements of Style’, Strunk and White (1920) encourages the writer to not take shortcuts at the cost of clarity, meaning that until the reader is acquainted with the word, the writer should refrain from abbreviations. As this is a scientific paper, we expect this from the writer, however, I believe that the reader is better equipped to navigate the more technical part of the paper had this part been elaborated upon.