Internet of Things Bill of Rights #iot #internetofthings

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On September 9th, 2013 – The New York Times asked Adafruit’s founder and engineer, Limor “Ladyada” Fried to contribute to an article series called ROOM for DEBATE. The article can be viewed here and Limor’s contribution can be viewed here.

We believe Internet of Things devices should all come with a well established expectation of what they will and will not do with consumer’s data. In the article we put together the start of what we hope will help this effort – Minimizing Risk Is Easy: Adopt a Bill of Rights

  • Open is better than closed; this ensures portability between Internet of Things devices.
  • Consumers, not companies, own the data collected by Internet of Things devices.
  • Internet of Things devices that collect public data must share that data.
  • Users have the right to keep their data private.
  • Users can delete or back up data collected by Internet of Things devices.

If you’d like to contribute to this living document, please post in the comments here or the Google+ post. Once it’s in a pretty solid place we’ll ask other companies that make “Internet of Things” devices to sign on.

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  1. Of course you own your data, but "click here" to give up that right.

    Of course you have a right to a trial in front of a judge and by jury, but if you click on the iTunes Music agreement (Or Google’s or Microsoft’s) there is something buried in the dozens of pages that forces you into "mandatory binding arbitration" (really evil, google or bing it).

    Shrinkwrap licences? Ever try to return "Windows" when you wanted a Linux system and the License said "if you don’t agree, return this to your retailer for a full refund". In a few cases – some involving small claims court – they got money back.

    By reading this email, you have agreed to this email EULA which requires you to send me $100 and you agree to mandatory binding arbitration. Now cough it up or I’ll take you to the mandatory binding arbitration. Yes, it is often that bad.

    Having a "bill of rights" is irrelevant if you can easily lose those rights or have to give them up to do anything useful. Where are Lavabit and Groklaw now?

  2. adding a link to this doc as per twitter suggestion!

  3. This is an excellent first list, thank you! I’ve been writing about the UX of IoT and how it needs to drive some of our technological thinking (not the other way around) I’d like to add a few points to your list:

    1) It’s not enough to “share that data”. We need to go one more step: share that data with open data standards. I realize this was implied but let’s take a simple example of a heart rate monitor. I have 3 in my house right now (mix of exercise equipment and smart bracelet) and it would be great if all three stored it in a common format so a higher level service could collect it all. This clearly is a subtle, technical issue, I just want to make sure, at the high level, that we appreciate what ‘sharing’ means and how hard it can be if we do it poorly.

    2) The same applies to ‘backing up data’ You are spot on but there are a range of ‘private dropbox’ services coming out there and a huge step forward would be if all my IoT services would store (or possibly backup) all of the data onto a common server. You can see how my common format from my previous point becomes important now: all my devices are streaming MY data into a COMMON store and I can reason over and have cool things happen.

    Thanks for kicking off this debate!


  4. It would be good to reference the Internet of Things Bill of Rights that was developed by a large community at last year’s Open Internet of Things Assembly, which built on the Internet of Things Bill of Rights first proposed by IoT data broker Pachube:

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