One feature of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that it broadens the Internet network to include objects and places in the physical environment. The IoT is the source of a considerable increase in the quantities of data generated by the new usages associated with it, thus contributing to the supply of Big Data. An issue falling at the crossroads of technical dimensions and social usages, this has led to its definition as:
“…a network of networks which makes it possible, via standardized and unified electronic identification systems and wireless mobile devices, to identify digital entities and physical objects directly and unambiguously, and thus to be able to collect, store, transfer, and process the data attached to these entities and objects with no discontinuity between the physical and virtual worlds” [BEN 09, pp. 15–23].
In this chapter, we focus our attention on the social, political, economic and regulatory challenges of the IoT; these lie in the exponentially increased modes of access to information characteristic of “ubiquitous computing” [GRE 06], in the creation of new services, and in data exploitation conducted by means of algorithms. In its social usages, the IoT is embodied in the Web of Objects, which refers to connected objects, particularly telephones but a wide variety of other objects as well. It brings out the complexity of information and communications ...