Living bits and things

Virt-EU will take part in Living Bits and Things event as a knowledge partner

Living bits and things event started in 2011 in Ljubljana and was held for one day only. It attracted attendees mostly from academia and those related to the EU IoT projects. It was organized in cooperation with Rob van Kranenburg, the IoT guru and took the advantage of the national IoT project Competence center OpComm.

VIRT-EU’s Irina Shklovski, talked about ethics and IoT at Living Bits and Things 2017 in Bled, Slovenia. Living Bits and Things is a small future-oriented industry gathering focused on IoT.

The event is co-located with the eConference Bled – a mixed research and industry venue focusing on business applications of digital technologies. Bled happens to be a stunning location with views of an alpine lake surrounded by castles and mountains. Yet the content of the conference events kept the attendees inside despite the lovely weather.

The Living Bits and Things event organized a number of thoughtful and interesting presentations concerned with topics ranging from the future of IoT to the implications of GDPR to discussions of success stories and best practices. Speakers considered the visions of the future, the known past over-estimations of digital technologies (for example sales of e-books are dropping but sales of vinyl are on the rise) and the tricky proposition of IoT products and services for general consumers. There was agreement about IoT’s significant potential in the industrial sector but I got the sense that for consumers to seriously consider IoT there needs tone more attention paid to security and to consumer trust towards these new devices and services. After all, as the world is largely reinvented in code, it is important to consider what sort of social contracts are implied in the technical infrastructures we are building.

The conversations ranged from demos of available IoT platforms to best practices in community system development but the frequency with which concerns about privacy and social impact were mentioned was encouraging. There is certainly traction for IoT in the industrial sector but it remains to be seen what kinds of changes GDPR and innovation will bring to consumers.

Talk abstract: Ethics in the Internet of Things: Where, Who, How?

The talk will discuss the location of ethics in IoT development. The concept of ‘ethics’ can be aligned with security, with community development, with financial decisions or design concerns. Often, the idea of ethics is discussed with respect to privacy and compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR). The talk will offer a discussion of common ethical concerns in IoT products and services, covering the EU GDPR requirements. The talk will further consider questions such as: At what stage do and should ethical questions arise? What are the sites of discussion for ethics, and what techniques or tools are currently available to facilitate ethical deliberation about IoT?