The IoT Registry

The IoT Registry offers transparency to citizens, visitors and entrepreneurs by providing an online registry of IoT devices.

The challenge

Many cities are seeing a rise of IoT (Internet of Things) devices appearing in the public domain. These devices are being installed at various places (streets, public spaces, parks, etc.) for various purposes and by various parties (local government, companies, research institutions, etc.). Examples are smart cameras, beacons, intelligent street furniture, smart waste bins, charging poles, street lighting equipped with sensors, etc.

In many cases, without further explanation which makes it unclear for citizens what purpose an individual IoT device serves in the public space. Typically, after spotting a device in the public domain or becoming aware of a new device in their neighbourhood, few people can derive from merely how the device looks the purpose it serves, whether it is or is not a smart device, who owns it, whether it is or is not storing, processing, sending (personal) data. The presence of smart devices in neighbourhoods tends to raise uncertainties, leading to negative feelings of insecurity and surveillance.

Simple questions raise, and remain unanswered, such as:

  • What is it? 
  • Why does it need to be there? 
  • Which data does it capture, who is responsible for processing it? 
  • Who owns its data? How long is this data kept? 
  • What kind of data does it process?
  • Does it store or send personal data, visual data, video, images, etc? 
  • Could it be useful for me as citizen, company or city service?

While GDPR already requires all cities to make available a public registry on personal data processing, such initiatives typically focus on (intangible, invisible) processes of handling personal data rather than the (tangible, visible) individual devices found in public spaces.

The solution

The IoT Registry addresses this challenge and aims to offer more transparency to citizens, visitors and entrepreneurs, by providing an online registry of as many IoT devices as possible.

It aims to answer basic questions mentioned above. The application also wants to refer the citizen to more information related to the device that is available on various communication channels of the city.

The public registry visualizes metadata of IoT devices on a map. By clicking the different symbols on the map, the citizen is able to consult publicly known information about the IoT device. 

Our current status

The first version of the IoT Registry was developed in Amsterdam. You can see a screenshot here and explore cameras, camera areas, sensors, beacons and smart traffic information devices in Amsterdam at its website here.


Ambitions after SCORE

The long-term ambition of our work on the IoT Registry is that any European city can use it. That is why we are maintaining both a local implementation in different SCORE cities, as a central generic repository. This generic repository will serve a starting point for new cities that would like to replicate the application.

Join us

For more information about the IoT Registry please contact these SCORE partners:

Amsterdam: Hugo Niesing and Hein Wils
Ghent: Justine Ottevaere 
Digipolis Ghent: Tim Van Achte and Jef Willems

The application's source code is available on Github, so its development can be followed closely and improvements can be suggested. Currently, these are 3 repositories:

SCORE is a collaboration oriented, open source development project. You're most welcome to co-develop this application or follow its development more closely, if so don't hesitate to contribute to its Github repository.