Connected and fair: Ethical IoT for social housing

Internet of Things (IoT) technology can reduce energy bills and carbon emissions, lessen the impact of fuel poverty, and fundamentally improve living conditions to create healthier and more liveable homes. Despite this, a whopping 84% of social housing residents are discouraged from using it due to concerns over data privacy. So how can take-up of this technology be increased?

With ethical questions about IoT clearly a major issue, this week Aico|HomeLINK and the University of Bristol have released ground-breaking research that makes 10 key recommendations for social landlords to take to overcome ethical barriers associated with IoT. This can ensure both residents and landlords finally reap the benefits of technology-led living.

IoT technology is the practice of embedding physical objects in the home with sensors, software and other technologies that connect and share data in real time.

Currently 2.4 million UK households cannot afford to heat their homes. And there is strong evidence that fuel poverty contributes to some of the 30,000 excess winter deaths every year, caused by inadequate heating, condensation, dampness and mould. In an age where poor living standards remain endemic across so many parts of the UK, the importance of monitoring fire, smoke, air quality, damp, and heat cannot be overstated.

IoT can improve the upkeep of homes using predictive maintenance, enabling social landlords to provide better services with reduced running costs. Yet despite its clear benefits, adoption of this new technology amongst tenants is low.

Delving into all of this, the research explores the steps landlords can take to make sure ethics remain at the heart of IoT. Only this will secure the levels of trust necessary to guarantee both landlords and residents do not miss out on this enormous opportunity.

To access the report please click this link.