Privacy Challenges for the Internet of Things

Privacy Challenges for the Internet of Things

Jenifer Sunrise Winter (University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch429
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Background

The IoT is often mentioned in relation to other, overlapping research paradigms, particularly Ubiquitous Computing, Pervasive Computing, and Ambient Intelligence, research agendas that address the integration of myriad, heterogeneous objects into the everyday environment. Weiser’s (1991) vision of Ubiquitous Computing emerged in the late 1980s and emphasized the potential of multiple computers per person, in a variety of forms, to activate the physical environment and make computational intelligence an extension of human activity. Ubiquitous Computing research is distinguished by its human-centered focus and has increasingly addressed interaction contexts (Abowd, Ebling, Hunt, Lei, & Gellersen, 2002). The related concept of Pervasive Computing (Hoffnagle, 1999) emerged as a corporate vision at IBM during the late 1990s. This agenda has focused on the technical systems required to embed numerous, networked devices throughout the environment. Over time, the two research communities have overlapped, and the two leading conferences, ACM’s Pervasive and UbiComp, merged in 2013. Ambient Intelligence research has been guided by the European Union’s Fifth Framework Programme (Information Society Technologies, 1998-2002) and focuses on embedded devices, particularly those in smart homes, which are context-sensitive and tailored towards personal needs. While the IoT overlaps concepts and technical developments in these related areas, it is distinguished by several concepts. These include 1) goals for an architecture that provides billions, or trillions, of heterogeneous objects with unique identifiers that allow them to interact over a global network; and 2) an emphasis on machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. Although all of these paradigms tend to focus on near-term visions of potential future environments (Dourish & Bell, 2011), the IoT is already manifest in various ways today.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Electronic Product Code (EPC): Is a standard that seeks to provide unique identification for RFID tags. It was originally created by MIT’s Auto-ID Center and is currently directed by EPCglobal, an organization dedicated to the global standardization of EPC. The EPCglobal stack is the de facto standard for retail and consumer goods industries.

Ubiquitous Computing: Is a research paradigm that emerged from anthropological studies at Xerox Parc in the late 1980s. Marc Weiser proposed a human-centric vision of a many-to-one relationship between computers and humans. It addresses the way in which computers are increasingly integrated into the everyday environment in ways that helps humans perform daily tasks. Over time, Ubiquitous Computing has integrated research related to pervasive computing, mobile computing, and wearable computing.

Coordination and Support Action for Global RFID-Related Activities and Standardization (CASAGRAS): Is a program funded under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). It provides a framework for research to aid the European Commission in navigating international issues related to RFID, in particular the IoT.

Smart Grid: Is a variety of technologies that enable automation of the modern electrical grid using computerization to meter and control processes. This allows fault-detection and self-healing power networks, as well as energy efficiency. Smart grid technology is increasingly employed in electrical plants, homes, and businesses.

Near Field Communication (NFC): Is a collection of standards that enable the wireless exchange of data between mobile communication devices in close proximity. NFC is currently being used to exchange personal data and as in electronic payment systems.

Ambient Intelligence (AmI): Describes an environment in which many embedded, networked devices exist throughout the environment. Typically, these are tailored towards personal needs and aware of context. This research program is often associated with smart homes. Ambient Intelligence research has been guided by the European Union’s Fifth Framework Programme (Information Society Technologies, 1998-2002).

Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID): Is the use of an object (typically referred to as an RFID tag) incorporated into a product for the purpose of identification and tracking using short-range wireless communication. RFID tags store information and can be read at short range with an RFID reader.

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