Mixed Reality Laboratory

Special Issue – Privacy and the Internet of Things

Special Issue – Privacy and the Internet of Things

This special issue brings together a series of papers that examines the important theme of Privacy and the Internet of Things (IoT), by taking multidisciplinary perspective the special issue aims to provide understandings and insights into issues pertaining to the theme.

Academics from the Universities of Nottingham, Queen Mary and Cambridge have worked together to deliver an issue that is both thought provoking and timely.

"While current industry solutions largely put emphasis on encryption as a privacy-preserving measure, there is more to privacy than the confidentiality of data at rest or in motion. Furthermore, encryption often will not stop industry accessing personal data, and metadata can be as or more revealing than data itself. Thus, in considering just what this special theme might about it seemed to us important to take account of what more might be involved in addressing the privacy risks occasioned by the IoT than security provides for?

Our own interest in ‘what more?’ is driven by a concern to build accountability into the Internet of things and to enable ordinary people to control the flow of personal data in everyday life. These entwined issues drive the development of the open source Databox platform, which seeks to enable accountable, ‘GDPR compliant’, personal data processing at the edge of the network. The Databox approach thus takes computing to the data, rather than data to the computing as per the current ‘cloud’ paradigm, and this has distinct computational as well as social advantages.

Computationally, as the number of connected devices increases exponentially it will be impractical if not ‘resource prohibitive’ to transport data for processing over networks to remote data centres. Thus, moving computing to the data reduces network latency and bandwidth contention. Socially, moving data processing to the edge of the network restricts data distribution and with it the accompanying threats to privacy. Thus, instead of shipping data to remote centres for processing, processing can be done locally with the added benefit that only the results of processing need be distributed: the data need never leave home, literally and figuratively speaking."

View the special issue editoral (open access)  


Alan Chamberlain, Andy Crabtree, Hamed Haddadi, Richard Mortier. 2017. Special Theme - Privacy and the Internet of Things. In Personal and Ubiquitous Computing Journal, Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00779-017-1066-5

Posted on Monday 21st August 2017

Mixed Reality Laboratory

University of Nottingham
School of Computer Science
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

email: mrl@cs.nott.ac.uk