The Fairness Challenge of the Internet of Things

By Bang Ngyuen and David De Cremer

The Internet-of-Things essentially enables mass data collection and analysis, to the benefit not just of businesses, but individuals and society too. However the question is, are businesses behaving ethically when collecting, storing and leveraging this data?


The Internet-of-Things (IoT) revolves around interconnected devices, systems and services within the existing Internet infrastructure. The IoT’s value lies in it being able to capture and analyse the data obtained from the sensors at the endpoints of the connected devices. The ability to put all of this data together means that IoT can bring considerable benefits to individuals, businesses and society. Take a look at the following examples:

• Acts of integrating IoT into the health care system can be the implementation of a chip into individuals, for instance with wearable technology, allowing for hospitals to monitor the vital signs of the patient, which could help indicate whether or not serious assessment is necessary.

• For businesses, the IoT can be useful in many different categories including asset tracking and inventory control, security, individual tracking, shipping and location, and energy conservation.

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About the Author

bang-nyuen-webBang Nguyen is Associate Professor of Marketing at the East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China, and Futurist at Nucleon AI Industries. He is the guest editor of Journal of Marketing Management on the Internet of Things. Previously, he was a marketing educator at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK. He is the author of the book The Dark Side of CRM.

Author-SiteDavid De Cremer is the KPMG Professor of Management Studies at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK. Previously, he was a Professor of Management at China Europe International Business School in Shanghai. He is the author of the book Pro-active Leadership: How to Overcome Procrastination and be a Bold Decision-Maker.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The Political Anthropologist.


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