IoT / Smart Home

The Internet of Things refers to a (future) situation in which both physical and virtual things are interconnected to communicate and function through a global internet infrastructure. While the Internet of Things promises an economic growth rate of more than 25%, increasing the annual volume to 560 billion USD by 2022, (source: research and markets report), it poses essential challenges in the area of data protection and security. For example, in the smart home area, an unsecured wifi-enabled connection of a smart refrigerator to a smart front door could cause malicious intruders to find the weakest link in such a security chain and, frankly speaking, break into the home. Another challenge is the question how users of smart things are actually able to control their things, such as the data collected through their sensors when these things no longer have visual interfaces.

To address these challenges related to the Internet of Things, privacy and security-by-design is a highly effective approach that focuses on the system design, be it  at the technical and/or organisational level of smart things. In doing so,, empirical research methods can help test the effectiveness and efficiency of data protection instruments in accordance with iterative development methods that are already used in the area of user experience design and technology development.