The Internet of Things

  • Susan Perry
  • Claudia Roda


Contrary to the popular perception, the Internet of Things is a physical reality. Often imagined as an amorphous interconnection of machines and people, it generates, stores, transmits and analyses data through physical infrastructure that influences decision-making processes. Decision-making was once the sole purview of humans; today machines organize the bulk of our choices, in an array of activities ranging from an automatic bank withdrawal to putting on the seatbelt in a computerized automobile. This new reality of the physical interconnectivity of machines and data is one that, at first glance, appears to have no precedent in law. This chapter will argue that the legal framework necessary for maintaining our human autonomy and living in harmony with an automated world is already in place. The international human rights body of treaty and customary law provides a principled reference for determining the subordinate place of machines in a digitized environment, but the existing law must be applied to new circumstances. This chapter will present three scenarios of life in a digital world of the not-so-distant future, a future where technology provides relief and autonomy for certain individuals, while subjugating others to subtle forms of discrimination or dependence. It will then discuss the technology embedded in our scenarios and examine some of the major legal principles invoked by the Internet of Things. These scenarios demonstrate the need to engage in a rigorous, comprehensive assessment of ubiquitous technology use in order to preserve our global public goods and individual rights in a digitized world.


Global Position System Social Contract International Criminal Rome Statute Child Soldier 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Perry
    • 1
  • Claudia Roda
    • 1
  1. 1.American University of ParisParisFrance

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