The value of personal data in IoT: industry perspectives on consumer conceptions of value

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Bristol
  • WMG, University of Warwick,
  • Helix Data Innovation


Personal data is an essential component of business models using the Internet of Things (IoT). Massive volumes of personal data are being recorded and analysed about consumers, despite them having limited understanding about how it affects them. Perceptions and preferences in this space influence how consumers choose to interact with the IoT, to a large extent. Yet little is understood about how industry perceives the views of consumers regarding the use of their personal data. To address this gap, we conducted three workshops with IoT industry stakeholders exploring their perspectives of consumer conceptions of the value of personal data in IoT. From the workshops, three overarching analytical themes emerged: (1) A perception of a significant gap between industry and consumers’ understanding of what personal data is, who owns it, how it is used in IoT products and how it drives value in IoT businesses; (2) Perceived imbalances of power between industry and consumers in the control of and value extracted from personal data, with implications for inequalities between different consumer groups; and (3) A need for greater education and transparency for consumers, and for industry, about how personal data can be used. We develop a tentative five-point manifesto for the use of personal data in IoT, and conclude that a deeper understanding of consumer perspectives by industry would be positive for the ethical development of the IoT.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLiving in the Internet of Things (IoT 2019)
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2019
EventLiving in the Internet of Things: Realising the socioeconomic benefits of an interconnected world - IET London, Savoy Place, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 May 20192 May 2019


ConferenceLiving in the Internet of Things
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • privacy, consumer protection, information assymetry, business models, data ethics, data analysis, production engineering computing, Internet of Things, ethical aspects, consumer behaviour, data privacy