On 9 and 10 June, the International Union of Property Owners (UIPI) organised its 44th bi-annual Congress in Berlin, hosted by Haus und Grund Deutschland, the German association of property owners.
More than one hundred representatives from national and regional associations of property owners in Europe gathered to discuss a subject resolutely turned towards the future: “Smart Homes”, as well as the opportunities and risks related to them.
New technologies are rapidly and radically changing our way of life and work, our access to information and communication. There is hardly any part of our daily life that is not affected. A similar revolution is happening in our homes. These new technologies aim at increasing our security and well-being, they help us to optimise our energy use and live longer in our homes. At least that is what the consumers expect and those are the promises made to them. But these technologies go hand in hand with a certain number of risks, risks that are not negligible and which must be addressed: How to protect users from possible intrusions into the network? What use is made of the data collected on our lifestyle and consumption? Is the consumer sufficiently informed and protected? What are the real savings and costs of these technologies? These questions have been addressed by the various stakeholders, whether they were representatives of the European legislator, producers of these technologies, users, or data protection specialists. The Congress continued the following day with a site visit to an intelligent house prototype at the Technical University of Berlin, as well as a visit to Berlin’s smart quartiers and neighborhoods.
The Vice-President of the European Parliament, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, who opened the official dinner, stressed the importance of European collaboration and mentioned that Europe is at a crucial moment in its history and that the on-going political changes should help to give a new impetus to European integration.