Privacy and the Internet of Things

On June 1 2018, the Computer Science department of Webster Geneva campus organized a conference on the topic of Privacy and the Internet of Things. Eight speakers from Academia, public institutions and from the industry gave the audience their vision of how to benefit from the Internet of Things without impairing users and citizens personal data protection.

The speakers first introduced the opportunities that the Internet of Things represent for helping society solve key issues such as medical care, individual safety, environment monitoring and preservation or smart cities. They then evoked the evolution of network infrastructures that will enable new usages and facilitate the interconnection of intelligent objects. A series of talks then explored cybersecurity, its importance and the risks that pertain on personal data. The conference concluded with presentations which proposed that legislation and regulation can offer answers to these issues, focusing on the brand new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

If the Internet of Things represents a key tool for addressing societal challenges, security and privacy aspects are of utter importance and are still often neglected, particularly by non-pure players who convert their businesses to digital technologies. Whether it can be imputed to a deficit in specific education, to the speed at which technology evolves, or to a simple costs management issue, it is however of utter importance, as acceptation of the technology is necessary in these fundamentally collaborative systems. None of the solutions, technical or legal can be perfect, but advances like the GDPR represent important milestones on the road to earning citizens trust.

The program of the day and slides are available here.