Internet of Things: Technological Development in an Interdisciplinary Perspective

Mari-Louise Landgreen & Caroline Emilie Wegner

Student thesis: Master thesis


This master-thesis focuses on finding out whether or not the law is compatible with the economic possibilities within Internet of Things. Internet of Things is a new technology that allows Internet in everything. The technology creates a number of economic possibilities within companies and society in general. Internet of Things presupposes the collection and procession of personal data. Therefore it leads to general concerns about data security and violation of privacy. On those grounds we find it important that balance is created between the social and economic interests and the legal and ethical challenges. The thesis starts with an economic analysis, where we determine the economic value of Internet of Things. We focus on value both in business and in society in general. The analysis has been carried out from theorist Clayton Christensen’s theory about sustaining and disruptive innovation. We will provide examples on how these innovations are reflected, with a focus on the manufacturing industry and in the private home. The technology can revolutionize existing markets, but it also has the potential to open up new ones. This view is also described in Jeremy Rifkin's theory about how technology will change the structure of society into a Zero Marginal Cost Society. In the legal analysis, we examine how existing law applies within the Internet of Things. We start by analyzing The European Convention on Human Rights and the Danish Constitution, to determine the importance privacy plays in society. Subsequently, we analyze Internet of Things from the current Data Protection Act and the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation. The overall conclusion of the legal analysis is that the law is not compatible with the economic opportunities within the Internet of Things. Based on these analyzes we conduct a legal policy analysis. This is done in order to make suggestions on how the law should be designed to take into account both the economic and legal aspects of Internet of Things.

EducationsMSc in Commercial Law, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages122