Posts in Publications
Report: The State of Responsible IoT 2018

A lot has happened since we published the first ThingsCon State of Responsible IoT report in 2017: Responsibility and ethics in tech have begun to enter mainstream conversations, and these conversations are having an effect. The media, tech companies, and policy makers all are rethinking the effect of technology on society.

The lines between the Internet of Things (IoT), algorithmic decision-making, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML), and data-driven services are all ever-more blurry. We can't discuss one without considering the others. That's not a bad thing, it just adds complexity. The 21st century one for black and white thinking: It's messy, complex, quickly evolving, and a time where simple answers won't do.

It is all the more important to consider the implications, to make sure that all the new data-driven systems we'll see deployed across our physical and digital environments work well—not just for the users but for all who are impacted.

Things have evolved and matured in big strides since our last State of Responsible IoT. This year's report reflects that evolution, as well as the enormous breadth and depth of the debate. We couldn't be happier with the result.

Some background as well as all the relevant links are available at thingscon.com/responsible-iot-report/ or using the short URL bit.ly/riot-report. The publication is available on Medium and as a PDF export.

This text is meant for sharing. The report is published by ThingsCon e.V. and licensed under Creative Commons (attribution/non-commercial/share-alike: CC BY-NC-SA). Images are provided by the author and used with permission. All rights lie with the individual authors. Please reference the author(s) when referencing any part of this report.

New report out now: A Trustmark for IoT

For Mozilla, we explored the potentials and challenges of a trustmark for the Internet of Things (IoT). That research is now publicly available. You can find background information, further links, and an executive summary here. You can download the report in full here: A Trustmark for IoT (PDF)

If you're also working on related topics, or if you'd like to work with us to conduct research on how to create a more responsible Internet of Things, please get in touch!

ThingsCon Log (15 August 2017)

ThingsCon News

Copenhagen Tech Fest; New Chapters; Interviewed on Ethical IoT;

We're on a mission to massively increase the footprint of the ThingsCon community with 15 new chapters, including 5 in the global South. Learn more about how it works and get in touch to start your local chapter, right now!

EVENT UPDATES

The quiet before the storm: We're currently in the planning phase for fall events. While we still need to confirm most exact dates, we know that...

  • COPENHAGEN will run a first ThingsCon Salon Copenhagen as part of Copenhagen Tech Fest in September (details). Thanks & welcome to the family, Irina Shklovski!
  • Salons are also in the making in Amsterdam, Berlin, Cologne.
  • We're excited that there are also (as of yet to be confirmed) whispers of new events and chapters in the US, in the UK, Kenya, and the Philippines.

Keep an eye on thingscon.com/events for details. On that page you'll also find more info on how to get involved and bring ThingsCon to your city. There's also a gCal feed for all ThingsCon events.

PUBLICATIONS, INTERVIEWS, COVERAGE

Interview on Ethics for IoT:

Markus Andrezak of überproduct kindly invited ThingsCon co-founder Peter Bihr to his excellent podcast Stories Connecting Dots to talk about ethics for the Internet of Things. You can listen to it (and find links to iTunes, RSS feeds and all the other goodness) here.

Our report featured on Wired:

We were very happy and excited recently that our report on the State of Responsible IoT (see below) was featured on WIRED!

Screenshot: wired.com

Also, a reminder of two recent publications:

  • ThingsCon Report: The State of Responsible IoT We recently released version 1.0, available here. We intend this to become an ongoing project that will grow over time. So if you have something to contribute, please let us know.
  • View Source: Shenzhen, our written documentation about our two recent research trips to the Shenzhen hardware ecosystem, is out, too. This report is part documentation, part Shenzhen handbook, part exploration of opportunities for responsible IoT. Find the report here.

The Human Tech Report

Our global community of experts keeps an eye out for responsible tech so you can have a quick-to-scan overview of what's noteworthy, smoothly delivered to your inbox once a month. To follow along, sign up now, and if you know of initiatives that should be included, please reach out to Max!

READ/WATCH/LISTEN

In First, Do No Harm: Taming the Gods of the Anthropocene, our friends over at Doteveryone share some great thinking as part of their mission to make technology more responsible. They've certainly been on a roll, so if you don't yet follow Doteveryone on Medium, you're missing out.

The Restart Project's podcast recently turned 5. Congratulations, and enjoy.

ATTEND

Underexposed: Our friends at SimplySecure bring their conference Underexposed to Berlin this fall. The theme this year: Deep Forgetting: Designing for Privacy in a World of Machine Learning. The preliminary program looks ace, with lots of friendly faces, allies and collaborators (including our very own Peter Bihr):

  • Caroline Sinders: UX Design Can Create Transparency for Machine Learning
  • Cennydd Bowles: The Shadows of Data
  • Julia Kloiber + Elisa Lindinger: Biased Machines - Why Diversity in Tech is More Important Than Ever
  • Marcel Schouwenaar: Transparent Charging Station: Because You Have the Right to Know Who’s in Charge
  • Max von Grafenstein: The Meaning of “Design” in Privacy by Design
  • Peter Bihr: Internet of Sneaky Things
  • Sarah Gold + Projects By If: Design and Trust Meetup
  • Yasmina Lopez Lluch: Educating Privacy-Minded Designers

If you're in town, swing by and say hi!

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Are you on Slack? Drop us a line with your email address and we'll be happy to see you in the ThingsCon backchannel on Slack (info@thingscon.com). And if you have community news (events, projects you're working on, resources you'd like to share, etc.) send them our way. And as always, for any news follow us on Twitter!

Have a fantastic week!

On behalf of the whole ThingsCon team,

Your scribe Peter

PS. We're always happy to see this email forwarded to friends and colleagues. But if you feel like your inbox is overloaded, it's also ok to unsubscribe. We still ❤️ you!

ThingsCon Log (3 July 2017)

Join us in Amsterdam, Berlin, Cologne and Darmstadt. Today we bring you: Four ThingsCon events over the next two weeks. Two reports. Lots of good reading tipps, and maybe a funding opportunity.

EVENT UPDATES

Keep an eye on thingscon.com/events for details. On that page you'll also find more info on how to get involved and bring ThingsCon to your city. There's also a gCal feed for all ThingsCon events.

Don't see your city on the list? Start your local chapter, right now! We're on a mission to massively increase the footprint of the ThingsCon community with 15 new chapters, including 5 in the global South. Learn more about how it works and drop us a line!

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY?

The European Commission has a potentially interesting grant out right now: Cybersecurity PPP: Privacy, Data Protection, Digital Identities. We are pretty sure the ThingsCon community has a lot to offer in this space, especially around data protection and digital identities. We'd love to pitch in, but we're not currently set up to head this kind of proposal. Maybe your organization is in a position to take the lead and is looking for partners on the content side of things? Let's have a chat!

IoT TRUST MARKS

Exploring potentials and challenges of IoT consumer labels. We're digging ever deeper into IoT trustmarks and opportunities in this space. If you have a few minutes, your input would be great to have! Jumo to the survey.

PUBLICATIONS

ThingsCon Report: The State of Responsible IoT

We've been working with a bunch of experts from all corners of the ThingsCon community to compile a report on the state of responsible IoT, and how to address the biggest challenges in that space effectively.

We recently released version 1.0. Find it at bit.ly/riot-report!

We intend this to become an ongoing project that will grow over time. So if you have something to contribute, please let us know.

View Source: Shenzhen

View Source: Shenzhen, our written documentation about our two recent research trips to the Shenzhen hardware ecosystem, is out, too. This report is part documentation, part Shenzhen handbook, part exploration of opportunities for responsible IoT.

This wouldn't have been possible without our friends over at The Incredible Machine or without the support from the Creative Industry Fund NL, as well as all the help from our local hosts. Thank you!

Find the report at thewavingcat.com/viewsource-shenzhen/. Also, the upcoming round of ThingsCon Salons will premier the video documentary that The Incredible Machine have been producing about our trips!

The human tech report

Our global community of experts keeps an eye out for responsible tech so you can have a quick-to-scan overview of what's noteworthy, smoothly delivered to your inbox once a month. To follow along, sign up now, and if you know of initiatives that should be included, please reach out to Max!

READ/WATCH/LISTEN

MIT Technology Review: We Need to Talk About the Power of AI to Manipulate Humans. How do we react to bots? "As I studied how people interacted with the tens of thousands of agents built on our platform, it became clear that humans are far more willing than most people realize to form a relationship with AI software."

NYTimes: The Real Threat of Artificial Intelligence. Forget about AI taking over: The challenges of AI on society are much more concrete. "Unlike the Industrial Revolution and the computer revolution, the A.I. revolution is not taking certain jobs (...) and replacing them with other jobs (...). Instead, it is poised to bring about a wide-scale decimation of jobs — mostly lower-paying jobs, but some higher-paying ones, too."

Digital Life Collective. A super fresh initiative in the UK, the Digital Life Collective develops, funds and supports technologies created with only the individual's needs in mind. "We're member funded, member owned, and member operated, for everyone's benefit... digital technologies of, by, and for the people." You can still join as a founding member.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Are you on Slack? Drop us a line with your email address and we'll be happy to see you in the ThingsCon backchannel on Slack (info@thingscon.com). And if you have community news (events, projects you're working on, resources you'd like to share, etc.) send them our way. And as always, for any news follow us on Twitter!

Have a fantastic week!

ThingsCon Log (19 June 2017)

We have 2 new reports for you, and 4 ThingsCon events coming up in July! With four events in just one month we're about to hit a new record monthly high. We hope to see you in Amsterdam, Berlin, Cologne, or Darmstadt. Until then, why don't you dig into our two new reports: The State of Responsible IoT & View Source: Shenzhen. EVENT UPDATES

  • ThingsCon Salon Amsterdam: 5 July. Details and registration.
  • ThingsCon Salon Cologne: 8 July. Details and registration.
  • ThingsCon Salon Darmstadt: 13 July. Details soon!
    Our first-time host (and long-time community member) Andrea Krajewski writes: "Der Salon wird im Rahmen der „iF – Interactive Future Exhibition“, der Werkschau der IMD-Studierenden des Mediencampus der Hochschule Darmstadt stattfinden. Die Werkschau läuft vom 12.-14. Juli. Vormittags präsentiert das 4. Semester die im Sommer entstandenen IoT-Projekte. Am Nachmittag gibt es ein Vortrags- und Workshop-Programm."
  • ThingsCon Salon Berlin: 13 July. Details and registration.

Keep an eye on thingscon.com/events for details. On that page you'll also find more info on how to get involved and bring ThingsCon to your city. There's also a gCal feed for all ThingsCon events.

START A THINGSCON CHAPTER IN YOUR CITY!

We've seen the ThingsCon community grow immensely these last couple of years. We'd like to take it even further and broaden the footprint of this fantastic community. This is the best way to really make a difference and help shape the larger discussion around a responsible and human-centric Internet of Things.

If there isn't a ThingsCon event near you yet, why not start one? It's easy! Think about a small meetup every month or two, and then take it from there. We're here to help!

Learn more about how it works and drop us a line!

NEW THINGSCON REPORT: THE STATE OF RESPONSIBLE IOT

We've been working with a bunch of experts from all corners of the ThingsCon community to compile a report on the state of responsible IoT, and how to address the biggest challenges in that space effectively.

We just published version 1.0. Find it at bit.ly/riot-report!

We intend this to become an ongoing project that will grow over time. So if you have something to contribute, please let us know.

You can find the content on Medium, as a PDF download, as well as on Github (in case you want to go to the source).

VIEW SOURCE: SHENZHEN

Speaking of publications—View Source: Shenzhen is out, too. Remember, we went to Shenzhen to explore opportunities for collaboration between European Internet of Things practitioners and the Shenzhen hardware ecosystem—and how to promote the creation of a responsible Internet of Things.

This report is part documentation, part Shenzhen handbook, part exploration of opportunities for responsible IoT.

This wouldn't have been possible without our friends over at The Incredible Machine or without the support from the Creative Industry Fund NL, as well as all the help from our local hosts. Thank you!

Find the report at thewavingcat.com/viewsource-shenzhen/.

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE WORLD OF RESPONSIBLE TECH?

Our global community of experts keeps an eye out for responsible tech so you can have a quick-to-scan overview of what's noteworthy, smoothly delivered to your inbox once a month. Issue #2 just went out. To follow along, sign up now!

HELP CREATE AN IOT MARK

For the second time (after 2012), our friends and frequent collaborators Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino and Usman Haque convened the Open IoT Assembly in London, this time to start the process of creating an IoT mark to make it easier for consumers to make an informed decision about which connected products to invite into their lives.

As a reminder, the 2012 convening drafted the Open IoT Definition—not only did it find its way into the internal guidelines of one of the world's largest electronics manufacturer, as we learned from Bosch Software Innovation VP Stefan Ferber (who participated in both the 2012 and 2017 events). We also noticed that the GDPR resembles the doc we drafted in significant ways. This is an important reminder that decisions are made by those who show up...

Creating an IoT trust mark or consumer label is an important next step. Pitch in by contributing to this collaborative document.

READ/WATCH/LISTEN

ThingsCon Salon May: Watch Ricardo Brito's and Henrik Chulu's talks from ThingsCon Salon May in this Youtube playlist.

Laura James: Exploring what "responsible technology" means. Over at DotEveryOne, the excellent British charity for digital literacy and inclusion, Laura James shares some thoughts on how to approach the often fuzzy and hard to grasp concept of responsible tech. Something we also think about constantly!

Emma Lilliestam: Open IoT definition—thoughts and suggestions. As a remote contribution to the #IoTMark event in London, Emma Lilliestam explores IoT marks and regulation with a focus on security.

Are we improving our cities at the expense of privacy? How to balance the potential improvements of smarter (or at least more connected) cities with the privacy concerns brought about by feature creep?

Pew Research: The Internet of Things Connectivity Binge: What Are the Implications? (PDF) When Pew Research publishes a new report it's always worth skimming.

Dough Universe: ThingsCon alumni Tech Will Save Us have a new Kickstarter up to help teach kids about electronics with play dough. 15 days left!

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Are you on Slack? Drop us a line with your email address and we'll be happy to see you in the ThingsCon backchannel on Slack (info@thingscon.com). And if you have community news (events, projects you're working on, resources you'd like to share, etc.) send them our way. And as always, for any news follow us on Twitter!

Have a fantastic week!

On behalf of the whole ThingsCon team,

Peter

PS. Got too many newsletters already? Don't feel bad about unsubscribing. It's OK, we still like you! Or maybe this is interesting for a colleague of yours? Please feel free to share and forward this email!