Sensing Data in the Home

  • Chris SpeedEmail author
  • Ewa Luger
Part of the Springer Series in Adaptive Environments book series (SPSADENV)


Human interaction with computers is no longer clearly bounded and so our user expectations no longer fit the pragmatics of design. We are increasingly data subjects within a complex network of lifestyle devices that sense, monitor, and interpret our daily endeavours. When the form that these devices take belies their true nature, a series of social challenges emerge. With the drive to new markets, based solely upon constructing value from human data, we find ourselves in something of a design dilemma. How can we design socially sensitive ‘things’, and what are the implications arising from networking our private spaces? This paper presents an autoethnographic case study, of a smart toilet roll holder, intended to surface some of these issues. Such prototype technologies demonstrate that, without proper consideration, the level of resulting social disruption may stilt progress and stymie the development of emerging data markets.


Privacy Consent Internet of things Data Value 



This work was funded by a UK EPSRC Digital Economy HAT: Hub-of-all-Things as Platform for Multi-sided Market powered by Internet-of-Things: Opportunities for New Economic and Business Model EP/K039911/1.


  1. Arthur C (2013) Tech giants may be huge, but nothing matches big data. Guardian online:
  2. Arvidsson A (2002) On the “pre-history of the panoptic sort”: mobility in market research. Surveill Soc 1(4):456–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bandyopadhyay D, Sen J (2011) Internet of things: applications and challenges in technology and standardization. Wirel Pers Commun Int J Arch 58(1):49–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bell TW (2009) The scale of consent. Chapman University Law Research Paper. Retrieved from Accessed 15 Aug 2015
  5. Bell PA, Greene TC, Fisher J, Baum A (1996) Architecture, design, and engineering for human behavior. In: Environmental psychology, 4 edn, pp 410–443. Harcourt Brace, Fort Worth, TXGoogle Scholar
  6. Bonnici CJ, Coles-Kemp L (2010) Principled electronic consent management: a research framework. In: Proceedings of 2010 International Conference on Emerging Security Technologies. IEEE, pp 119–123Google Scholar
  7. Chandler JD, Vargo SL (2011) Contextualization and value-in-context: how context frames exchange. Mark Theor 11(1):35–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Corby MJ (2002) The case for privacy. Inf Syst Secur 11(2):9–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dritsas S, Gritzalis D, Lambrinoudakis C (2006) Protecting privacy and anonymity in pervasive computing: trends and perspectives. Telematics Inform 23:196–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ellis C, Bochner AP (2000) Autoethnography, personal narrative, reflexivity: researcher as subject. In: Denzin NK, Lincoln YS (eds) Handbook of qualitative research. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp 733–768Google Scholar
  11. European Commission (2012) How will the EU’s data protection reform strengthen the internal market? European commission. Retrieved from Accessed 6 Aug 2015
  12. European Commission (2018) 2018 reform of EU data protection rules. Retrieved from Accessed 18 Sept 2018
  13. Faden RR, Beauchamp TL (1986) A history and theory of informed consent. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  14. Feldman R, Eidelman AI (2004) Parent–infant synchrony and the social–emotional development of triplets. Dev Psychol 40(6):1133–1147. Scholar
  15. Garun N (2013) Staples connect bridges all your ‘internet of things’ into one managing app. Digital Trends:
  16. Haddadi H, Mortier R, McAuley D, Crowcroft J (2013) Human-data interaction, technical report 837, University of Cambridge, Computer Laboratory.
  17. Hong J-Y, Suh E-H, Kim S-J (2009) Context-aware systems: a literature review and classification. Expert Syst Appl 36(4):8509–8522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Information Commissioners Office (2012) Anonymisation: managing data protection risk code of practice. Accessed 5 Jan 2019
  19. Kasper DVS (2005) The evolution (or devolution) of privacy. Sociol Forum 20(1):69–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kerr I, Steeves V, Lucock C (eds) (2009) Lessons from the identity trail. Oxford University Press, USAGoogle Scholar
  21. Leber J (2012, June). A dollar for your data. Retrieved from Accessed 17 Aug 2015
  22. Liddell K, Richards M (2009) Consent and beyond: some conclusions. In: Corrigan O, McMillan J, Liddell K, Riahards M (eds) The limits of consent: a socio-ethical approach to human subject research in medicine. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  23. Luger E, Rodden T (2013) An informed view on consent for ubicomp. In: Proc. Ubicomp’13, ACMGoogle Scholar
  24. Marx GT (2007) Privacy and social stratification. Knowl Technol & Policy 20(2):91–95Google Scholar
  25. Merriman C (2014) Microsoft’s Windows 10 preview has permission to watch your every move. Retrieved from Accessed 2 Aug 2015
  26. Ng I (2014) Value & worth: creating new markets in the digital economy. Innovorsa Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  27. Nissenbaum HF (2010) Privacy in context. Stanford University Press, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  28. Normann R, Ramírez R (1993) From value chain to value constellation: designing interactive strategy. Harvard Business Review July/August 1993. 71(4)Google Scholar
  29. O’Hara F (2011) Transparent government, not transparent citizens: a report on privacy and transparency for the cabinet office. Cabinet officeGoogle Scholar
  30. Ohno T (1995) Toyota production system: beyond large-scale production. Productivity Press, Portland, ORGoogle Scholar
  31. Price BA, Adam K, Nuseibeh B (2005) Keeping ubiquitous computing to yourself: a practical model for user control of privacy. Int J Hum Comput Stud 63(1–2):228–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. MIT Technology Review (2015) The emerging science of human-data interaction. Retrieved at Accessed 5 Aug 2015
  33. Richardson L (2000) Writing: a method of inquiry. In: Denzin NK, Lincoln YS (eds) Handbook of qualitative research. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp 923–948Google Scholar
  34. Schneier B (2010) Google and Facebook’s privacy illusion. Forbes. Retrieved from Accessed 9 Aug 2015
  35. Sheehan KB (2002) Toward a typology of internet users and online privacy concerns. Inf Soc 18(1):21–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Solove DJ (2009) Understanding privacy. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  37. Thornhill T (2012) Google will know more about you than your partner: uproar as search giant reveals privacy policy that will allow them to track you on all their products, Retrieved from Accessed 3 Aug 2015
  38. Tolmie P, Pycock J, Diggins T, MacLean A, Karsenty A (2002) Unremarkable computing. In: proc. CHI ‘02. ACM Press, pp 399–406Google Scholar
  39. Uteck A (2009) Ubiquitous computing and spatial privacy. In: In Kerr I, Steeves V, Lucock C (eds) Lessons from the identity trail. Oxford University Press, USA, pp 83–102Google Scholar
  40. Vargo SL, Robert F (2004) Lusch evolving to a new dominant logic for marketing. J Mark 68:1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Weintraub J, Kumar K (1997) Public and private in thought and practice. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  42. World Economic Forum (2011) Personal data: the emergence of a new asset class. World economic forum other-awareness II: Mirror self-recognition, social contingency awareness, and synchronic imitation. Developmental Psychology 32(2). American Psychological Association, pp 313–321. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Design InformaticsUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK

Personalised recommendations