The rapidly-developing Internet of Things (IoT) may challenge conventional business, market, policy and societal models. This final report to the European Commission aims to inform a consistent European policy stance capable of fostering a dynamic and trustworthy IoT that meets these challenges.
The study addresses the following research question: What can usefully be done to stimulate the development of the Internet of Things in a way that best supports Europe’s policy objectives (societal impact and jobs through innovation), while respecting European values and regulations (with particular reference to ethics and data protection)?
The study builds on prior work including the six challenges (identification, privacy and data protection and security, architectures, ethics, standards and governance) identified by the European Commission's IoT Expert Group (2010-2012) and results from the 2012 public consultation on the IoT
. The study was informed by a literature review, key informant interviews and an internal scenario workshop. Its findings and conclusions were extended and tested at an open stakeholder workshop. The analysis supports an initial soft law approach combining standards, monitoring, 'information remedies' and an ethical charter to facilitate IoT self-organisation and clarify the need for and nature of effective regulatory interventions.