The Internet of Things

34 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2013

Date Written: June 20, 2013


The Internet will continue to become ever more central to everyday life and work, but there is a new but complementary vision for an Internet of Things (IoT), which will connect billions of objects – ‘things’ like sensors, monitors, and RFID devices – to the Internet at a scale that far outstrips use of the Internet as we know it, and will have enormous social and economic implications. Policy makers and opinion formers need to understand the Internet of Things (IoT) and its implications. If the right policies and business models are developed, the IoT will stimulate major social, economic and service innovations in the next years and decades. Nations can harvest the potential of this wave of innovation not only for manufacturing but also for everyday life and work and the development of new information and services that will change the way we do things in many walks of life. However, its success is not inevitable. Technical visions will not lead inexorably to successful public and private infrastructures that support the vitality of an IoT and the quality of everyday life and work. In fact, the IoT could undermine such core values as privacy, equality, trust and individual choice if not designed, implemented and governed in appropriate ways.

Keywords: Internet, Internet of Things, social implications, foresight, technology and society

Suggested Citation

Dutton, William H., The Internet of Things (June 20, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

William H. Dutton (Contact Author)

University of Southern California ( email )

3502 Watt Way #304
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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