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Safeguards in a world of ambient intelligence

Direct outcome of the 2006 SWAMI Conference
: Wright, D.; Gutwirth, S.; Friedewald, M.; Vildjiounaite, E.; Punie, Y.; Lindner, R.


Berlin: Springer, 2008, XXXIII, 291 pp.
The International Library of Ethics, Law and Technology, 1
Conference on Safeguards in a World of Ambient Intelligence <2006, Brüssel>
ISBN: 978-1-402-06661-0
ISBN: 1-4020-6661-9
Conference Proceedings
Fraunhofer ISI ()
ambient intelligence; future scenario; privacy; risk assessment; ubiquitous computing

This book is a warning. It aims to warn policy-makers, industry, academia, civil society organisations, the media and the public about the threats and vulnerabilities facing our privacy, identity, trust, security and inclusion in the rapidly approaching world of ambient intelligence (AmI).
In the near future, every manufactured product - our clothes, money, appliances, the paint on our walls, the carpets on our floors, our cars, everything - will be embedded with intelligence, networks of tiny sensors and actuators, which some have termed "smart dust". The AmI world is not far off. We already have surveillance systems, biometrics, personal communicators, machine learning and more. AmI will provide personalised services - and know more about us - on a scale dwarfing anything hitherto available.
In the AmI vision, ubiquitous computing, communications and interfaces converge and adapt to the user. AmI promises greater user-friendliness in an environment capable of recognising and responding to the presence of different individuals in a seamless, unobtrusive and often invisible way. While most stakeholders paint the promise of AmI in sunny colours, there is a dark side to AmI.
This book aims to illustrate the threats and vulnerabilities by means of four "dark scenarios". The authors set out a structured methodology for analysing the four scenarios, and then identify safeguards to counter the foreseen threats and vulnerabilities. They make recommendations to policy-makers and other stakeholders about what they can do maximise the benefits from ambient intelligence and minimise the negative consequences.