The Precautionary Principle in the Information Society: Effects of Pervasive Computing on Health and Enviroment

Lorenz Hilty, Siegfried Behrendt, Mathias Binswanger, Arend Bruinink, Lorenz Erdmann, Jürg Fröhlich, Andreas Köhler, Niels Kuster, Claudia Som, and Felix Würtenberger,
“The precautionary principle in the information society: Effects of Pervasive Computing on Health and Enviroment.” TA-Swiss (Center for Technology Assessment) TA46e/2005, 2003. Revised second edition, 2005


“Pervasive Computing refers to visionary new ways of applying Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to our daily lives. It involves the miniaturisation and embedding of microelectronics in non-ICT objects and wireless networking, making computers ubiquitous in the world around us. Unlike most of today’s ICT products, Pervasive Computing components will be equipped with sensors enabling them to collect data from their surroundings without the user’s active intervention.”

This study was commissioned by TA-SWISS and conducted by the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA), St. Gallen, and the Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment (IZT), Berlin, in collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences Solothurn Northwestern Switzerland (FHSO), Olten, and the Institute for Business Ethics at the University of St. Gallen (IWE-HSG). The Foundation for Research on Information Technologies in Society (IT'IS) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) was entrusted, within the framework of a separate assignment, with preparing the annex on Electromagnetic Field Exposure.

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