We identify several under-researched work areas in the context of IoT for occupational health. The aim of the proposed project is to contribute to the existing body of knowledge with respect to missing organizational, legal, and ethical considerations, both in terms of theoretical and practical contributions. We summarize the overall objectives and expected contributions of the proposed research project in three work streams:
In the legal work stream, we will explore privacy risks related to the use of IoT in the occupational health environment. We will first perform a textual and contextual analysis of law (statutes and case law) and preparatory documents related to the questions of privacy, autonomy and identity at the Swiss and European level. We will then develop an in-depth investigation on the use of physiolytics in the organizational context, and evaluate the legal implications of IoT use and sketch its potential impacts on fundamental rights in this specific use.
In the ethics work stream, we will explore the ethical issues and dilemmas emerging from the use of IoT in occupational health settings. Employees and managers may have conflicting values, expectations and interests. Organizational systems, social norms, and legal duties may create contradictory or inadequate pressures. With a literature search and empirical methods (interviews), we will investigate the foreseeable tensions, vulnerabilities, conflicts of interest and risks. Based on these collected facts, we will use the theoretical tools form applied ethics (conceptual analysis, ethical evaluation frameworks) in order to identify ethical priorities, and make recommendations for an adequate design and use of IoT in occupational health settings.
The goal of the technical work stream is to explore technological and organizational arrangements that trigger trust relationships and that subsequently can be translated into the design of IoT applications. We will follow a design-oriented research approach and derive meta-requirements and formulate design hypotheses for several IoT applications, which then are translated into light-weight interventions (e.g. clickable mockups or light-weight apps) in order to experiment with different designs and to test the effectiveness of certain arrangements in increasing or decreasing the application’s trustworthiness.