14:45 - 15:45
The Internet of Shit Goes to Court - When Smart Devices Betray Their Owners

Short thesis

Can smart devices solve crimes - or is IoT the new CCTV?
An all-female introduction to IoT privacy, security and the use of smart devices as evidence in criminal investigations.


From smart phones, to smart hairbrushes, smart water glasses and yes, even smart bins - we are surrounding ourselves with ever more powerful sensors. Connected devices now occupy our homes, our bodies, and public spaces. What happens when these devices are seized by police or become evidence in court?

In December 2016, prosecutors in Arkansas (US) filed a search warrant for data from Amazon Echo to help solve a murder chase. Amazon’s personal assistant device uses voice recognition to answer user’s questions.  Just like Apple refused to help the FBI to unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino terrorists, Amazon also declined to give police any of the information that the Echo logged on its servers. Smart devices as evidence raise complex ethical and legal questions. We are building an Internet of Sensors at a time when we have very little evidence about what kinds of data our devices generate, collect, store or share. In this talk we will address the following questions:

  • How can we ensure that devices don't generate and collect more data than they promise to?
  • What does consent mean in a world of sensors?
  • Algorithms and data anlytics are imperfect. How reliable is data from smart devices as evidence?
  • How can manufacturers maintain their customers' privacy?