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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/M001636/1
Title: Privacy-by-Design: Building Accountability into the Internet of Things
Principal Investigator: Crabtree, Professor A
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BBC BT Digital Catapult
E.On O2 Unilever
Department: School of Computer Science
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 December 2014 Ends: 30 November 2019 Value (£): 1,137,416
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Human-Computer Interactions Information & Knowledge Mgmt
Networks & Distributed Systems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Information Technologies Communications
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
17 Sep 2014 EPSRC Digital Economy Fellowship Interviews Announced
17 Jul 2014 EPSRC ICT Prioritisation Panel - July 2014 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The Internet of Things (IoT) seeks to embed computation in mundane objects - pill bottles, shelves, weighing scales, etc. - and connect these 'things' to the internet to enable a broad range of new and improved services (e.g. improved healthcare services). The IoT will open up a wealth of personal data - biological data, data about our physical movements around the home, or interaction with objects therein, etc. - distributing it seamlessly across the internet. The seamless distribution of personal data presents real challenges to the adoption of the IoT by users, however. Personal data is not 'shared' blindly and there is need to understand how personal data transaction in the IoT can be made observable to users and available to their control if the projected benefits of the IoT are to come about. There is need, in other words, to understand what needs to be done to make the IoT accountable to users so that they can understand what data is being gathered, what is being done with it, and by whom, and to enable personal data management.

The need for accountability leads to a concern with 'articulation work' - i.e., making personal data transactions visible and available to user control. This fellowship seeks to engage industry and end-users in the co-design of awareness and control mechanisms that specify requirements for the support of articulation work. It seeks to do so in the context of the home - one of the most personal of settings in society and a key site for future personal data harvesting. Industry is engaged in the development of use cases specifying future IoT applications that exploit personal data across different infrastructures penetrating the home. The use cases are grounded in ethnographic studies of current interfaces to infrastructure and the personal data transaction models that accompany them. Current and future understandings are combined in 'provotypes' - provocative mock ups of new technological arrangements - which are subject to end-user evaluation to shape and refine articulation mechanisms around user need and which foster user trust in the IoT.

Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.nott.ac.uk