Ethics Primer

Learn more about different ways to approach ethics and why we have chosen this framework. Download VIRT-EU’s ethics primer which outlines duty ethics, consequentialism and utilitarianism and explains virtue, capabilities, and care in the context of technology development.


Relevant IoT Regulation and Standards to Build IoT

In the realm of privacy and Internet of Things (IoT) development, we had identified compliance as a baseline on which to build extra features. When we looked at ethics more widely, we found out that designers and developers are required to comply with additional regulation that touched on diverse areas such as safety or sustainability. As such, in 2017 the VIRT-EU project surveyed a wider regulatory framework around IoT, documenting relevant standards and regulations in the European context.

This report presents a map for IoT designers and developers to understand compliance issues and/or the various standards and guidance currently available. Please note that this is a relatively fast-moving field and new standards are coming online quite frequently. This survey was completed in the fall of 2017 by Javier Ruiz, VIRT-EU’S Principal Investigator from the Open Rights Group. As such, please use this document as a basis for further research into this area.



The Privacy, Ethical and Social Impact Assessment (PESIA) is an impact assessment instrument geared specifically towards IoT system development issues. PESIA is designed to enable you to reflect upon, evaluate and take into account data protection, security and privacy aspects of new technologies, as well as ethical and social concerns. In 2020 we will launch an interactive version of this questionnaire.

The PDF of the PESIA questionnaire comes with explanatory text for the more complex parts of the data protection compliance sections. Questions addressing ethical and social issues are intended for discussion and reflection as these highlight concerns that ought to be taken into account when developing different kinds of IoT technologies and services.


The PESIA model is an achievement of legal scholarship developed by Alessandro Mantelero from Politecnico di Torino as part of the VIRT-EU project in collaboration with scholars from the Open Rights Group, London School of Economics and the IT University of Copenhagen. An interactive online version of PESIA developed by the Open Rights Group will be available in early 2020.