Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the next evolution in Internet technology—creating a more dynamic and integrated entity that connects virtual and physical worlds in highly unified and increasingly useful ways. The IoT takes advantage of radio-frequency identification (RFID) and sensor technology to integrate extensively with our physical environment. The world is currently poised to experience widespread use of this potentially disruptive technology which employs radio tags to uniquely identify and create computerized inventories of all objects and persons. With the information that the IoT makes available on real-world objects, the world will become even more highly connected than it already is by connecting and facilitating human-to-human (H2H), human-to-thing (H2T), and thing-to-thing (T2T)--also referred to as machine-to-machine (M2M)—interactions. The purpose of this research project is to conduct a review of the IoT as it pertains to individuals and businesses, and to perform an exploratory study that focuses on individual perceptions and level of awareness relating to this technological revolution. The project’s scope includes 1) a thorough literature review to define the IoT as it is currently understood and to discuss its potential as a disruptive technology with societal implications, and 2) a discussion of information ethics as it pertains to innovative and disruptive technologies. The latter part of the project presents and discusses the results of a survey of college students designed to explore their perceptions of the IoT with regards to the constructs of convenience, privacy, security, and trust surrounding this new technology. College students were selected as the focus of the survey as they will directly experience this technological revolution in full force as it continues to rapidly develop while today’s students begin to take on greater responsibility as tomorrow’s leaders in business and society.

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