Open Internet of Things Assembly: A Draft Manifesto for an Open Internet of Things

We, the undersigned, believe that the class of technologies currently described as the “Internet of Things” has genuine potential to deliver value, meaning, insight, and fun as well as having the potential for a totalitarian control technology that may cause massive problems for the whole of society. Its definition, however, is not self-explanatory, nor do we believe these benefits are by any means guaranteed. There are areas that need to be explored, understood and considered carefully in order to secure the potential we see. These include, but are not limited to, the following concerns:

Licensing  

  • Licensors may explicitly grant rights to 3rd parties (licensees) to use their data.
  • Data ownership remains with the Licensor.
  • Data feeds should have human- and machine-readable licenses attached to them.
    [“Bits should know their rights.”]
  • Open IoT data is considered analogous to other Digital Commons data.  Creative Commons provides an adequate basis for engagement, for example:
  • “Every license helps creators — we call them licensors if they use our tools — retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work — at least non-commercially.”
  • Individuals (who may not be the Licensors) must be granted license to any machine-generated data that is created, collected or otherwise generated that relates to them.
  • Individuals (who may not be the Licensors) should have the right to remain anonymous, the ability to license data on an anonymous basis, and the ability to license data at whatever available granularity or resolution (e.g. temporal or spatial) is most suited to their purposes.

Accessibility  
Data should be released in at least one format, protocol, and API with the following characteristics:

  • free, public documentation
  • royalty-free to use, indefinitely
  • open source parsers/libraries available
  • In order to qualify for certification, the format, protocol or API in question should feature a minimum of two independent reference implementations

Timeliness   
Data should be released:

  • without imposed delay, based on the accessibility principle above;
  • at the resolution at which it has been acquired;
  • to the data subject for as long as the provider hosts the data and for at least a pre-agreed duration of time

Privacy   
Data subjects should have the right to know what data is being collected about them and why. Reasonable efforts should be made to protect confidentiality and privacy of the data subject.

Transparency

Data controllers should inform data subjects that deleting all copies of data may be technically unfeasible once published.

Where data is collected from public space, data subjects and stakeholders should have a role in decision-making and governance.

Definitions

Definitions are needed for ‘rights,’ ‘public data’, ‘private data, ‘licensee’, ‘licensor’, ‘data subjects’, and ‘data controllers’.

Call to action

We invite you — whether in a personal or a professional capacity, or both — to help shape the agenda for an Open Internet of Things. We encourage you to provide insights and stimulate debate in this process, and to contribute to the development of a final community statement of principles to be released on 17 Sep 2012.

Open Internet of Things Assembly
17 June 2012 | London

docs.google.com

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