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The IoT and Unpacking the Heffalump’s Trunk

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In this paper we highlight design challenges that the Internet of Things (IoT) poses in relation to two of the guiding design paradigms of our time; Privacy by Design (PbD) and Human Centered Design (HCD). The terms IoT, PbD, and HCD are both suitcase terms, meaning that they have a variety of meanings packed within them. Depending on how the practices behind the terms are applied, notwithstanding their well-considered foundations, intentions, and theory, we explore how PbD and HCD can, if not considered carefully, become Heffalump traps and hence act in opposition to the very challenges they seek to address. In response to this assertion we introduce Object Oriented Ontology (OOO) and experiment with its theoretical framing order to articulate possible strategies for mitigating these challenges when designing for the Internet of Things.