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Social Impact of and on the Internet of Things

Social Impact of and on IoT

 

Demographic, economic, and sociotechnical trends will influence the context of IoT deployments in the short and long run. Especially relevant will be continued population growth, the aging of the population and workforce, increased urbanization, continuing high rates of international migration, high rates of workforce disruption requiring retraining, jobs that are less tethered to particular locations, more leisure time, persistent income inequality, and continued concerns about security and personal safety. 

 

IoT will influence society by facilitating the untethering of work from workplaces, increasing the potential for migration without losing touch with family and friends, making physical environments more user-friendly for old people, and improving personal security through surveillance. It will also bring negative consequences including exposure of formerly private personal behaviors, loss of privacy and trade secrets, and vulnerability to serious cyber-disruptions. There will be unintended consequences that we cannot yet foresee, requiring adaptive responses by courts, public policymakers, enterprises, and individuals.  Standards and regulations will often lag perceived need, placing significant responsibility on individuals to protect themselves. New insurance products, contracting norms, and litigation opportunities will help individuals and enterprises manage these risks.

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Clinton J. Andrews