The Internet of Things – The Internet of Things or of Human Objects? Mechanizing the New Social Order

89 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2020

See all articles by Bruno Zeller

Bruno Zeller

University of Western Australia - Faculty of Law

Leon Trakman

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Robert Walters

Victoria University - Adjunct Professor European Faculty of Law

Date Written: February 16, 2020

Abstract

Like the printed book, the Internet of Thing [IoT] has also changed the perception of reality and conceptions of social interaction. It has changed the levels of how information is perceived and viewed. For many people, it is the sharing of mostly personal information via social networks that extends from a personal face- to-face interaction to a global communication; a form of communication that is accessible to many in an instant and retransmitted to a global audience. With the speed and volume of transmission(s), the Internet has created a different social construction of reality and has assisted the spread of knowledge; however, it has also been the source of misinformation.

This article highlights and defines the multiple perceived realities by participants in the IoT. It explores the Internet as being a source of an inspiring knowledge revolution. However, it will also consider challenges to this notion. The article goes on to explore the responsibility of mega-corporations, which “control” access and channel information into mass consumer markets, their regulatory power to do so, and growing expectations for intervention by regulators. It juxtaposes the rationale that the IoT epitomizes a “free marketplace in ideas” and the argument that it is “free” to subjects whose personal data is distributed over a predominantly underregulated IoT.

The central focus of the article is to address the tension between corporations’ and data users’ economic interest to secure access to personal data, and the right to legal protection of the subjects of that data. The hopeful, yet idealized, aspiration is to accentuate the need for society and in particular, legal regulators, to better comprehend the worrisome damage that arises from exposure of personal information over the Internet. This article proposes that democratic institutions assist in bridging the gap between the objectives of mega-data corporations and society’s desire for ready Internet access without forfeiting their autonomy.

Keywords: Internet of Things, Data, Data Protection, Privacy

Suggested Citation

Zeller, Bruno and Trakman, Leon and Walters, Robert, The Internet of Things – The Internet of Things or of Human Objects? Mechanizing the New Social Order (February 16, 2020). Rutgers Law Record, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3539226 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3539226

Bruno Zeller (Contact Author)

University of Western Australia - Faculty of Law ( email )

M253
35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, Western Australia 6009
Australia

Leon Trakman

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

Robert Walters

Victoria University - Adjunct Professor European Faculty of Law ( email )

No Address Available
Australia

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