Recent policy, such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation, reflects mounting public concerns around emerging data practices, RRI, data ethics and privacy. VIRT-EU addresses these concerns at the point of design through researching and intervening upon the development cultures and ethics of the next- generation IoT innovators. We ask how do European IoT innovators and developers make ethically consequential decisions – about code, hardware and data – for new connective devices? What assumptions about human behavior, privacy and freedom underpin European cultures of IoT innovation?


The main objective of VIRT-EU is to affect the design and development processes of technological innovation by integrating PESIA tools with developer practices, resulting in better alignment with ethical and social values of EU citizens.

The qualitative dimension of the VIRT-EU project has focused on an ethnographic approach to explore how IoT companies and developers negotiate and enact ethics in their day-to-day working environments.

A core aspect of VIRT-EU is the application of a simultaneous qualitative-quantitative methodological triangulation, that is, a methodology where fieldwork at IoT-related events is complemented by an analysis of online data generated about those events, and vice-versa.

We have been working hard for the last six months learning what are the concerns that trouble innovators, developers and designers working in the context of the Internet of Things (IoT). Security and ethics keep coming up as really important in academia, industry and the media (see f.i.