IGF 2018 WS #266 IoT trustworthiness from human perspectives


Round Table - 90 Min


Organizer 1: Norbert Bollow, ISO/IEC JTC1 SC41 Study Group on Societal and Human factors in IoT Based Services
Organizer 2: Cynthia Stephen, Training, Editorial and Development Services Trust (TEDS Trust)
Organizer 3: Olutosin Adebowale, Tosin Turn Trash To Treasure

Speaker 1: Cynthia Stephen, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Olutosin Adebowale, Private Sector, African Group
Speaker 3: Luc Poulin, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Renaud Di Francesco, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Significant international standardization work on trustworthiness in relation to the Internet of Things (IoT) is currently starting in the relevant ISO/IEC committee for international standardization, ISO/IEC JTC1 SC41. Specifically, there is on one hand a recently approved project to develop a standard «ISO/IEC 30147 Internet of Things(IoT) – Methodology for implementing and maintaining trustworthiness of IoT systems and services.» In addition, a New Work Item Proposal «Internet of Things (IoT) - Trustworthiness framework» is underway and in view of the broad support which it enjoys, it will cerrainly be approved. Furthermore, SC41 is in the process of creating a Study Group on the topic Societal and Human factors in IoT Based Services. This Study Group has the explicit task to “explore the possibility of additional standards or guidance in the area of IoT and related technologies”. Such a Study Group is typically the first step towards the creation of formal international standards (for which it is permissible under WTO rules to reference them in regulation) in a topic area. Such a Study Group can also recommend the creation of “guidance” documents, one possibility for which would be the creation of an ISO/IEC Technical Report on a topic like “How the IoT ecosystem should be regulated to prevent it from leading to Orwellian surveillance and control, and to prevent it from resulting in other types of human rights violations.”

The proposed workshop will interface between these standardization activities and the broader IGF community. Specifically, three members of the above-mentioned ISO/IEC Study Group will be participating in the workshop in central roles, as a co-organizer and as at least provisionally confirmed speakers, including the designated chair of the ISO/IEC Study Group as well as the designated editor for the ISO/IEC standard «Internet of Things (IoT) - Trustworthiness framework». The discussions at this workshop will be used as inputs for the work of the ISO/IEC Study Group.

Session Content: 

The session will focus on aspects of trustworhiness (or lack thereof) of the Internet of Things for which there appears to be a significant need to give then specific additional attention in order to minimize the risk of the ISO/IEC standardization processes not sufficuently taking them into account.
These aspects include:
- The inter-human aspects of “my IoT” vs. “your IoT”.
- How will it be prevented that widespread IoT adoption leads to violations of the human right to privacy? What are effective safeguards against it leading to Orwellian surveillance and control?
- How will it be prevented that widespread IoT adoption leads to undue shifts of economic and social power away from the people to data-hoarding corporations?
- How will in particular be ensured that the IoT ecosystem leads to empowerment rather than to further disempowerment of those people who currently lack empowerment?
- How will it ensured that the IoT revolution and its data streams won't disproportionally empower data-rich corporations at the expense of everyone else (which would in particular mean economic disempowerment of most businesses in developing countries and their national economies)?
- The challenges of appropriate and adequate (in particular, human rights protecting) regulation of the field of IoT, in view of the great speed of change.


The workshop will start with a brief explanation, by the onsite moderator (Norbert Bollow, who is also the designated chair of the ISO/IEC Study Group), of the workshop's format and goals (three minutes), and then five very short (three minutes each) introductory statements from each of these five speakers:
• Mr Renaud Di Francesco, Director of the European Technology Standards Office of Sony. He will highlight the inter-human aspects of “my IoT” vs. “your IoT”. (Provisionally confirmed.)
• Ms Cynthia Stephen, President of the Training, Editorial and Development Services Trust (TEDS Trust), Bangalore, India. She will draw attention to the perspetive of marginalised sections of society. (Confirmed.)
• Ms Olutosin Adebowale in rural Nigeria, a business person and trainer for women to become entrepreneurs, leaders and spokespersons. She will explain the perspective of business persons in a rural developing country context. (Confirmed.)
• A government representative, who will provide insights on the regulatory perspective. (To be confirmed.)
• Mr Luc Poulin, designated editor for the ISO/IEC standard «Internet of Things (IoT) - Trustworthiness framework». He will explain the need to express trustworthiness requirements in terms of risks, and to make them measurable, so that they can be integrated into the planned standardized trustworhiness framework. (Confirmed.)

These intial interventions will set the scene for the following round-table type discussion, in which the above-mentioned five persons will be called upon as experts as appropriate, but where the discussion will primarily be among the other participants of the workshop. The goal will be a group process of reflection, in which all workshop participants will be included.

The discussion will address several subthemes which are brought up by workshop participants, possibly in response to the initial statements or in response to other interventions. The onsite moderator will steer the discussion to remain focused on a particular subtheme until it was been addressed with adequate clarity and diversity of perspectives. Only then he will invite the workshop participants to move the discussion to another subtheme.

In order to achieve optimal engangement of the workshop participants, and in order to not only learn their views but also which subthemes are particularly important to them, the precise set of subthemes that will be discussed at the workshop is intentionally not planned. This will be determined by the group dynamics at the workshop itself.


The workshop co-organizers and speakers constitute a balanced combination not only from gender and geographic perspectives, but also a balance between participants in ISO/IEC standardization processes and viewpoints of those who practically never participate in ISO/IEC standardization processes. In addition, special efforts will be made to reach out to attract remote participants from outside the ordinary IGF community.

Interventions will be welcome both in English and in French. For interventions in French, a summary in English will be provided.

Online Participation: 

It is extremely important to the three co-organisers of this workshop to “give voice” to those who are not typically listened to in the development of standards, even when those standards have the potential of significantly influencing the future of our societies. For this reason, special efforts will be made to reach out to attract remote participants from outside the ordinary IGF community.

During the workshop itself, we will have two online participation moderators: Ms Cynthia Stephen, one of the co-organisers of the workshop, will serve as remote moderator for English-speaking remote participants. In addition, Mr Obed Sindy, President of the ISOC Haiti Chapter, will serve as remote moderator for French-speaking remote participants.

Whenever there are both onsite and remote partcipants who want to speak, they will be called upon alternatingly, i.e. one remote participant will be called upon, then one onsite participant, then again one remote participant, etc. When both the remote moderator for English-speaking remote participants and the remote moderator for French-speaking remote participants have interventions, they will again be alternated, i.e. the pattern will be: One French-speaking remote participant, one onsite participant, one English-speaking remote participant, one onsite participant, and repeated.

Discussion Facilitation: 

The introduction about the workshop's format and goals (three minutes) and the five introductory statements of three minutes each will together take less than twenty minutes.

Hence the great majority of the time will be available for in-depth discussion of several subthemes.

The onsite moderator will be in charge of guiding the overall flow of discussion. In particular, he will encourage the onsite and remote participants of the workshop to respond to points raised in previous interventions until the particular subtheme has been discussed in good depth and with a good diversity of perspectives. When that has been achieved, he will encourage the participants to bring up a new subtheme of their choice.

At the end of the session, all onsite and remote participants will be invited to provide additional comments in writing if they so choose. Such written comments will be conveyed as inputs to the ISO/IEC Study Group together with a compilation of the points that were made during the workshop itself.

Onsite Moderator: 

Norbert Bollow

Online Moderator: 

Cynthia Stephen


Norbert Bollow

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678