From privacy to privacies

Privacy is not a static concept but an attitude that is distributed over all the actors: a ‘person’, the environment (home, street, shop, office..) and the objects. Privacy is thus a relation. We can actualize it as levels of accountability.
Privacies can be worked on.
Privacy is a red herring. Citizens never had any privacy from government surveillance. Companies want you happy and rich and do not have an interest in crippling you, on the contrary.
We all profit from a system in which people control their own data and auction to service providers. Transparency and accountability in such a system would make me happy to expose and stage all my capabilities and talents as I would be a embodied advertisement for my skills without hiding my weaknesses or learning curve.
The real issue is solidarity. Will such a system be for ‘all’, or just for the 1%percent in smart cities aka gated communities.
So while you were fighting for your privacy, your very actionable identity (as a citizen) is stolen from you.
GDPR won’t fix any of that.
Think from a situation of full connectivity then we work back for the best balance between agency for machines and humans.


So ideally our cybernetics would resemble sliders that are set to actions and resource allocation, capabilities.

But the question remains, can we organize, and can we organize to win? In my opinion winning would mean not only breaking the state-corporation in its self-assigned provider of normality and numbering (passports and IP), but building a global country called ‘country’ that encompasses all intelligences, whether human, animal, hybrid and machine like. In the words of Smari McCarthy, winning means breaking the client-server model in technological terms (tcp/ip as open backbone plus intelligence at the edges in the neighbourhoods), in societal terms (full equality of machines, humans, animals and hybrids and concentrated hot or coldspots where every entity is free to move to and leave from) and in psychological terms (embracing all human diversity, from voice hearers to angel children, mongoloid to spina bifada, from bipolar to autist).
So ideally our cybernetics would resemble sliders that are set to actions and resource allocation, capabilities. In these sliders 50% is fixed tuned to 25% animals, 25% humans, 25% machines and 25% planet. The other 50 is set to any idiosyncratic situation. Every generation can changes the algos that set the sliders: 30% for animals…..
In our cybernetics there would no more taxes, just VAT like on any transaction,
Sort of dreaming 🙂

and an IoT ethics, a sort of praxis, that redefines our hitherto anthropocentric position into equal and reciprocal agency of all actors: people, things, animals, planet.

The actionables that seem most promising as coming from the discussions in York are first and foremost the strategic framework that we can use as the bottomline from which to start:
”What can be called into doubt?
What can we compromise on?”
the concepts that can inform concrete IoT architectures
and an IoT ethics, a sort of praxis,  that redefines our hitherto anthropocentric position into equal and reciprocal agency of all actors: people, things, animals, planet.

It is serious times indeed. A species entire has to make up its mind. Shall I stay singular and frantically keep searching for tools to build some shelter?



on repeat


And when we finally found that cave, we started painting it. To see and enjoy, but also because the act of painting made it into a shelter, a home. OK. We move on.

And when we finally settled down in houses, we started building fences. To keep the animals in, but also because the very act of fencing made it into a shelter, a home. OK. We move on.

And as we build cities we build walls. To keep some people in and some people out but also because the very fact of building walls made it into a shelter, a home. OK. We move on.


I think by now we know that everywhere on earth we go we cannot take out the shelter from what we are. We build our own home and embody the space in between. We can only care for it. Like a blanket folding back and over us we forever extend our clothes to bridge an emptiness so deep, ah well, so deep.


What is it we are building now? Hybrid things, smart cities, invisible interactions and resonance moving all around us. Where is our equivalent of walls, fences, shelter warm as a blanket woven by your grandmothers?


Where is it?


Ah yes, shelter itself has become fluid. What to do as a human in need of clothing when none can found. None. Really? Yes, none, nowhere.


How can I care if I cannot find shelter?


I will keep checking my phone.

I will keep checking.

I will keep checking.






Checking is what I will keep.


It is all you have left.


And we build it, purposefully.


The constant in this process, so inevitable, so human, so simple and clear?

You my friend. A ‘self’.

The ‘I’ trying to find cover in any situation.

Think twice before believing that self-organization is about the act of finding shelter.

It is not there.

Nowhere to be found.

Self-organization is about organizing your self.

Now you know.

Now you know, everywhere you go you ‘re gonna have me as your man (ah Dylan).


It is serious times indeed. A species entire has to make up its mind. Shall I stay singular and frantically keep searching for tools to build some shelter?


Or shall I go plural inside and keep warm from standing upright?


The question simply boils down to you asking yourself how much clothing do you need?


A lot?


In old times, I am sure some old man would have called it Judgement Day.


Won’t be long now.

So, tell me, how difficult is it to unlearn literally every thing you have been taught and realize the truth and then lean back against the wall of a three store apartment balcony?


A cup of tea, would you want one too? You have a small piece of pure black chocolate.

Well, it is not that difficult. But hard, yes. To have traveled this far only to find, no only to return to the starting point over and over realizing it does not matter going left and right.

Does not matter at all!

There is a thin line at work in every direction.

Doing evil, doing good, or avoid them both – go for it!

Work them with an attitude worthy of each cause. Respect the boundaries,

respect them doing evil

respect them doing good

respect them doing nothing

respect them as you walk on by

holding on to a thin thread you don’t even know, but feel to be there.

It has always been us.

Not that many.

Actualizing darkness and light in eternal circles. I can only hope we talk concentric circles, actually moving up or down, but learning.

But ah,  that is playing with my own heart and pushers should not high on their own supply.

So for you out there wandering and wondering. Relax and go to sleep.

For I can tell that I found the door. It is still heavily barricaded. For the life of me I can not say what they piled up over there!

I can feel you.

I can blow that door anytime, but I’m waiting. Waiting for you to wake up my brothers and sisters, wake up.

And when you, oh when you do, we blow that door and obliterate whatever is housing there,

Then it will house us. We make our beds. We work fresh paint so we know it has got soul.

Some day soon we hear knocking. Bang bang bang.

We go barricading the door.

In the mean time

we respect them doing evil

we respect them doing good

we respect them doing nothing

we respect them walking by

#IoT #RoofoverEurope A spectre is haunting Europe, yes again.  Ours, this time.

A spectre is haunting Europe, yes again.  Ours, this time.

We are being robbed and the political structures that are supposed to create added value from our taxes and our personal psycho-social efforts at building coherence are directed backwards and no longer productive to their goal; to create an inclusive society for all intelligences (whether human, animal or plant ecologies).

Over The Top (OTT) players like Google, Uber, Handy, Facebook, Whatsapp, and many more to come on energy, work, mobility and decision making protocols, are taking at least 20% on every transaction away from local investments, straight into the hands of – mostly-  US shareholders. Worse, they are getting so wise about our daily habits that all new services and applications will emerge from their datasets. This means effectively that currently US OTT have already more influence in the daily lives of our European citizens then any political effort from the EC or local or national levels. All they can do is fine or beg for attention of a FB or Uber official, who usually do not respond.

I am ashamed to be a citizen of such a continent.

And I am not impressed by the level of sense of urgency or strategic intelligence in the current European Commission officials. I don’t see them taking care of my and your  – our – daily investment in practical coherence in our streets and future business value. Politicians I do not even consider relevant at all. They are busy with getting re-elected.

We are being robbed and our leaders have no clue.

We have to take matters into our own hands.

The first step is to re-evaluate the current wave of technology as somehow bad or worrying for us, simple people with no money, heritage or socio-financial capital or contacts.

Internet of Things (IoT) is in its essence the seamless flow between the


♣ BAN (body area network): the ambient hearing aide, the smart t-shirt

♣ LAN (local area network): the smart meter as a home interface

♣ WAN (wide area network): Telematics, ITS, Connected Car

♣ VWAN (very wide area network): the smart city as e-gov services everywhere no longer tied to physical locations

Whoever ensures traceability, sustainability and security linking up the gateways is able to offer the best possible feedback on physical and mental health, the best possible household decisions based on real time monitoring for resource allocation, the best possible decision making based on real time data and information from open sources and the best possible alignments of local energy providers with the global potential of wider communities.

Google is rolling out Glass and Lens, the Google Power meter and NEST, the Car and automotive, open data initiatives, and cultural hegemony through

These gateways, the platform and the ‚app’ or service store should be in public hands. I posit that this is only realistic by using Identity Management as a lever. I propose to build a secure, stable and innovative device that acts as a passport as well as a controller to which appliances in the home can be assigned. This device talks specifically to European platforms and clouds.

Citizens gradually manage more of their everyday services in the EU service store. Eventually this pragmatic clean slate approach allows for creating a specific EU pace in the Digital transition, much likes the success of the Estonian e-card, creates a real 500 million market, initiates and integrates new currencies (bit coin, free coin), eradicates black markets and corruption, and allows for new forms of direct participation and democracy. Moreover it builds a real iterative framework for research into quantum computing and bio-nano, so results from IoT projects can be harnessed in a meaningful real world architectures of applications and services.

This allows us to slow the developments down. Currently the world is run on a rhythm of startup-up-up culture from Silicon Valley, consisting of 90% engineers and 10% marketers. What values of life affirming qualities have ever come from this continent, except Bob Dylan? If it wants to run Silicon Value, fine by me. But I want a different basis then optimizing efficiency for daily life and the dreams of our children. And I am sure that the rest of the world feels quite the same. They also should put a roof over their own heads, the harvest the added value on the data of their citizens locally.

Rob van Kranenburg



Rob van Kranenburg is founder of the Thinktank ‘Council’, and the Linkedin Group ‘The Internet of Things’ (plus 7000 ), both in 2009. He is Community Manager of the EU FP7 Smart City Project SocioTal (,  and Chair of  AC8 – Societal Impact and Responsibility in the Context of IoT Applications of the IERC, The Internet of Things Research Cluster. With Trevor Harwood from he organizes the 4th edition of the Global IoT Day,