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An Ethics Framework for Research into Heterogeneous Systems

Jassim Happa‚ Jason R C Nurse‚ Michael Goldsmith‚ Sadie Creese and Rebecca Williams


Heterogeneous systems often found in the Internet of Things (IoT) have a wide range of challenges in ethics and law. Any device with an IP address can potentially collect, process, store and share data and make automated decisions in unpredictable ways. When conducting research and development in IoT, it is necessary to have a comprehensive socio-technical understanding of decision-making and data-handling, as well as procedures in place to pre-empt and address unforeseen consequences. In this paper we propose a comprehensive conceptual-modelling approach to help researchers systematically identify, consider and respond to challenges in ethics and law when conducting research and development of heterogeneous systems. Our framework is a six-layered model that addresses these concerns with regards to proximity to the data and actions in question. Using our framework, researchers should be able to deliver use-case scenarios that should be peer-reviewed by a large number of experts in dissimilar domains with the aim of identifying issues to why the research and development proposed is not done responsibly, so researchers can address these concerns. Finally, we explore a IoT use-case scenario, and we propose future directions for this work.

Book Title
Living in the Internet of Things: Cybersecurity of the IoT Conference
To appear