The “silence of the chips” concept: towards an ethics(-by-design) for IoT


  • Caroline Rizza
  • Laura Draetta



In this position paper, we would like to promote the alternative approach positioned between the two extreme positions consisting in refusing any innovation or in adopting technology without questioning it. This approach proposes a reflexive and responsible innovation (von Schomberg, 2013; 2011; 2007) based on a compromise between industrial and economic potentialities and a common respect of our human rights and values. We argue that the “silence of the chips right” (Benhamou, 2012; 2009) is timely, relevant and sustainable to face ethical challenges raised by IoT such as protecting privacy, trust, social justice, autonomy or human agency. We believe this technical solution may support establishing an ethics of IoT embedded in the technology itself. Our position is not ‘technocratic’: we do not agree with discourses arguing technology can fix problems. Through the responsible research and innovation approach we promote the idea that only human agency and user empowerment constitute a valid answer to the ethical, legal and social issues raised by IoT.




How to Cite

Rizza, Caroline, and Laura Draetta. 2014. “The ‘silence of the chips’ Concept: Towards an Ethics(-by-Design) for IoT”. The International Review of Information Ethics 22 (December). Edmonton, Canada:23-31.