This episode explores the public perceptions, complex ethics and potential privacy threats of IoT in public spaces. Unusually have a two-parted episode:
Part one bring together two experts in the ethics of surveillance and IoT to discuss IoT and sensors in public spaces in the context of ethics, privacy and surveillance ethics: Can we opt out of IoT in public spaces? How do we communicate with people living in smart cities to secure informed consent, is this even possible? Who is most vulnerable the the privacy threats that come with increased deployment of IoT?
Dr Kevin Macnish is Consulting Senior Manager in Digital Ethics at Sopra Steria. He was formerly Assistant Professor of Ethics and IT in the Philosophy Dept. at the University of Twente and before that Teaching Fellow at the University of Leeds, where he retains a visiting research fellowship. Kevin's research and interests lie in the ethics of surveillance, cybersecurity and technology
Dr Peter Novitzky is a senior research fellow at PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity, Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP), UCL, specialising in the ethical challenges of AI, safety and security. Peter’s research often explores the ethics of artificial intelligence for vulnerable populations and he is co-I on PETRAS funded project Red Aid, addressing the issue of voice-based social engineering attacks.
In part 2 we hear about the PETRAS project, P-PITEE, which stands for Participatory Policies for IoT (at the Edge) Ethics. Working with Lancaster City Council, this project developed a new policy for transparent and ethical use of IoT and edge technology in public spaces. This was done through the use of design methods to develop effective local policies for the governance of secure city-based IoT deployments and the resultant data; and to develop an existing transparency prototype into a fully developed tool which will support organisations in their assessment of system transparency and ethical practice. This has now spun out into Taking IoT for a Walk which is testing these methods further with four more local authorities. The TrustLens tool which P-PITEE produced can be found here.
Dr Louise Mullagh's cross-disciplinary research explores the use of design in processes of policy making for emerging technologies (e.g., AI, IoT and digital platforms). She is based at Imagination Lancaster. Her work uses design methods to understand the complex ecosystem of policy and governance in this area, where public and organisational policies collide.
As ever, thank you to Professor Alan Chamberlain for gifting his AI generated music which we have used throughout this series.