SOCIOTAL tackles a diverse set of technological and socio-economic issues, and uses the following questions as initial guidance for its research:

  • How can a useful IoT system emerge from the building blocks deployed by people, not companies and enterprises and how it can be organically grown into a trusted eco-system from neighbour hoods to cities and from cities to societies?
  • How can an IoT be designed that by its nature prevents people from being exploited in an Orwellian nightmare, instead duly respecting privacy boundaries of individuals?
  • How can an IoT be designed to encourage individuals to contribute to an overall whole by sharing infrastructure, resources and information ownership while retaining control on these shared assets?
  • Can we exploit abstractions and real world relationships to better model trust relationships and privacy policies between IoT devices? How can we establish and maintain such relationships in an automated fashion removing the burden from the citizens?
  • How can we ensure that IoT devices adapt their communication behaviour based on their current communication context and existing security threats? And more specifically how can we minimise exposure of unwanted information of IoT devices and their users?
  • How can IoT infrastructure deployed by the city administrations be leveraged and used by the community? What are the implications from the security, trust and privacy perspectives?
  • How can we ensure that crowd-sourced infrastructure from the citizens, which may be of low quality or installed in inadequate ways, can still be useful and accurate enough for value generation in the community?
  • Can we use social network/media tools to empower citizens to easily manage and share the information flows from their IoT devices to other community members, their cities or the society?
  • How can an Internet of Things become a more useful tool for communities and provide a value added infrastructure truly addressing societal needs?