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Social and Ethical Challenges of the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a new approach to the web that connects objects from our everyday lives to the Internet, giving them perceptive and communicative abilities. A growing amount of data passes through the objects’ sensors and services are provided based on the analysis of big data.

There are several possible applications: smart healthcare and wellness, smart transportation, industrial automation, smart homes, smart cities and more.

Despite the benefits that IoT boasts, the growing pervasiveness of smart objects poses serious ethical questions.

As consumers and citizens we are increasingly exposed to the use of these systems in our daily lives and we must face questions, such as:

  • the role of human and non-human actors in designing this new society of objects
  • what do we mean by “smart” and what value do we attribute to the objects
  • the impact on consumer behavior from a cognitive and emotional point of view

Furthermore, there is a growing fear of a loss of free choice and dependence on such objects as well as transparency in the use of sensitive data.

The course offers an analysis of the impact of the IoT on our daily lives, on consumer behavior and ethical implications.

The laboratory is based on the discussion of papers and on group projects.

The course runs for a total of 40 hours. In order to receive credit, students must participate in70% of the lessons, or 28 hours, and have obtained a positive evaluation of their final project.

The course is only offered in English (30 students).

The course calendar will be available in January.