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The CPS Week 2016 International Workshop on Consumers and the Internet of Things



According to recent studies, consumer applications will drive the number of connected things. Integrated into the Internet and equipped with smart modules, consumer goods are increasingly becoming components of the Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure. As a result, material possessions embed software, can be remotely monitored and controlled, and often require third-party intermediation in order to be enjoyed by their purchaser. Technology itself, and contract, may affect customers’ ability to use and transfer the IoT-embedded items purchased and the data collected by them. In this workshop, we aim to investigate how ownership and actual control are altered by the aforementioned developments; whether and to what extent this alteration is compatible with the European legislation in force; and, more generally, the impact of this change of paradigm on society.

Date and Venue

The Workshop will take place in Vienna, Austria, in co-location with the Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) Week 2016 (see here for information on the venue), on April 11th, 2016.

Info on the Workshop

The workshop, organised by the Nexa Center for Internet and Society in the context of the CPS Week 2016, focuses on the ownership and control challenges raised by one of the most hyped and disruptive implementations of CPS – the Internet of Things – with regard to consumer applications.

The following are some basic ideas to frame the workshop:

Objective: The workshop aims to investigate the impact the embodiment of digital world features in physical goods may have on usability of the goods themselves and of the data collected by them, and to analyse legal implications of and consumers’ attitude towards those changes.

Framework: We understand the terms “Internet of Things” and “consumer goods” in their broadest meanings, and we use such concepts as benchmarks (with no normative implication). With the expression “ownership and control”, we extensively refer to the right and the factual ability to use and dispose of an IoT product, both on the whole and for what concerns any of its components (hardware, software, service, data). The workshop will include both general and abstract reflection, and real/hypothetical specific case studies.

Opportunity: The topic, despite not primarily engineering-oriented, profitably complements the CPS Week Conferences. It is useful in establishing how cyber-physical systems are transforming the ways people interact with the physical world, and thus in developing the principles to respect when integrating cyber and physical elements. Also, it helps to consider CPS applications – especially when involving consumers – in a wider (legal and social) perspective.

Method: The workshop will include a few paper presentations, a panel discussion, and a keynote. The workshop is open to both academia and industry, in this way ensuring a multi-perspective approach. Both invited speakers and spontaneous contributors (see below, “Contributions”) will participate.

Topics: The relevant topics include, but are not restricted to, the following:

  • IoT impact on use and transfer;
  • contracts for IoT products;
  • the role of providers in consumer enjoyment of IoT goods;
  • technological management impact on contract law;
  • ownership in an Internet of Things world;
  • social implications for consumers;
  • qualification and transparency of IoT contracts;
  • cloud computing and consumer enjoyment of IoT products;
  • the state of competition in the market of IoT;
  • business models for the IoT market;
  • portability of the collected data;
  • informational and operational security threats;
  • analogies with digital content, cloud computing and/or virtual worlds.


We welcome original contributions on the matter (see the illustrative list of topics shown above; further topics might be accepted upon request). Contributions are accepted upon organisers’ approval.

Contributions should be between 4 and 6 pages, should be written in English, and should be in PDF format according to the IEEE manuscript template for conference proceedings.

Contributions should be submitted ‒ at the latest by Thursday, February 11th, 2016 (24:00 AOE) ‒ to the following e-mail address: consiot2016[at]nexa[dot]polito[dot]it. Please write “[ConsIoT 2016] Contribution” in the e-mail subject line.


Prof. Marco Ricolfi, Chair of Intellectual Property, Department of Law, Turin University, Co-director, Nexa Center for Internet and Society, Polytechnic of Turin.

Dr. Guido Noto La Diega, President and Co-founder of Ital-IoT.

Miryam Bianco, Nexa Center for Internet and Society (DAUIN), Polytechnic of Turin.

Important Dates

Deadline for contributions to ConsIoT 2016: February 11th, 2016

Early registration deadline for CPS Week: March 10th, 2016

Date of the Workshop: April 11th, 2016

For Further Information visit the website of the CPS Week 2016

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