A ‘third wave’ of computing is emerging, encompassing technologies that have been called many names, including ubiquitous and pervasive computing, ambient intelligence, the Internet of Things and eObjects. This third wave will bring about significant socio-technical change, especially in the lives of consumers. With this change comes the possibility of a disconnection between consumer protection law and the new things, activities and relationships enabled by the third wave. The article linked below analyses the attributes of these technologies, and identifies where consumers may face challenges relating to acquisition and interaction. These challenges are appraised in the light of common consumer protection principles, to identify whether likely detrimental outcomes for consumers may conflict with these principles. This article provides a basis for consumer protection lawyers globally to examine whether or not their current consumer protection legislation can adequately provide appropriate consumer protection in the face of the third wave.
This is the accepted (but not proofed) version of an article published in the Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal (2017), Vol 17, Iss 2.
This is the accepted (but not proofed) version of an article published in the Deakin Law Review (2017) Vol 22.
During the last two decades, a “third wave of computing” has emerged: a move from a model of accessing the Internet and other internetworks almost exclusively via a desktop computer to alternative forms of distributed information technologies, such as smartphones, wearable computers, and sensors and microprocessors embedded in everyday objects. This paper undertakes a critical review of the literature that offers and discusses definitions of this “third wave”. Not surprisingly in an area of innovation, definitions are evolving, overlapping and inconsistent. This paper analyses and consolidates the literature in order to identify the key aspects of this new phenomenon. We have coined the term “eObjects” for the central element of the “third wave”. The paper presents a framework for legal, business and social research into the technologies and their implications, distinguishing core from common attributes, and identifying categories of inter-device interaction.
This article was published in Computer Law and Security Review in 2015.