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Governance and Accountability in Internet of Things (IoT) Networks

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Publication date1/08/2020
Host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Digital Technology and Society
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780190932596
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameOxford Handbook
PublisherOxford University Press


Both societies and their underlying infrastructure are in the process of being transformed by digital technology, a change that requires updated legislation and governance structures to respond to new information contexts. One particular area of rapid growth is that of connected devices that are increasingly being deployed in the physical environment as part of the so-called ‘Internet of Things (IoT)’. There has been significant attention by policymakers at both national and international levels as to the economic and social benefits these technologies can bring and how they can be effectively implemented, leading to a range of different governance models. Many of these models relate to larger scale deployments as part of “smart city” urban infrastructure programmes. Unlike private sector Internet of Things devices, which require buy-in from individuals who voluntarily purchase technology and choose to use it, public space deployments can affect entire communities. They must therefore particularly include mechanisms by which citizens can be empowered. We present a thematic review of literature and policy pertaining to IoT governance models, and construct a framework of principles for IoT governance, highlighting emerging and remaining questions. Four emergent themes (Levels of Governance, Legitimacy and Representation, Accountability, and Transparency) are illustrated using case studies at two levels; national and supranational top-down governance models, and city-based context-specific implementation models.