A tool that gives people real control over consent when using the Internet of Things (IoT)
The project "Consent Management for the Internet of Things (EMIDD),” which we are undertaking in cooperation with the Technical University of Berlin, aims to develop a framework that strengthens the position of consumers when using IoT devices.
A plethora of “smart” devices, which we increasingly encounter in our homes or otherwise in everyday life, collect data, mostly data that reveals personal information about us. Until now, one usually had to fully consent to the conditions set by the manufacturer in order to be able to use the device; this blanket consent in turn opens the doors to an unrestrained data collection frenzy. Is there an alternative?
A team from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the TU Berlin has developed a software tool that allows consumers to manage in detail the transfer of any data— personal or otherwise—generated during their use of an IoT device to its manufacturer. iRights.Lab is tasked with evaluating this software’s compatibility with current data protection law and consumer protection policy in Germany, especially in light of the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation.
The two short reports compiled by iRights.Lab conclude that tools like the EMIDD software represent a way of achieving true data sovereignty for consumers navigating the growing Internet of Things. This is only possible, however, if consumers themselves are willing to engage with questions of privacy when using “smart” devices.
Technische Universität Berlin
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