The European Commission (EC) has begun an investigation into the security and ethics surrounding web-connected appliances.
The Commission has opened up a public consultation to collect data on the opinions and expectations that businesses, researchers and citizens hold on the growth of connected devices and web-enabled appliances.
The EC said that the information it gathers would help to shape its policies and rulings on matters of privacy and security for what it calls the 'internet of things'.
"An internet of things with intelligence embedded into everyday objects is the next big thing," said EC vice president for the digital agenda Neelie Kroes.
"I want to promote an internet of things that serves our economic and societal goals, while preserving security, privacy and the respect of ethical values."
The survey asks for opinions and concerns on matters ranging from personal privacy and identity protection to the role of the government in mandating information security and delivering reference architectures for systems.
The study is open to citizens and businesses as well as advocacy groups and industry professionals.
While the market for connected devices is still in its early phases, researchers have demonstrated a number of examples showing the possibility for misuse and attacks on embedded systems.
Among the most prominent studies have been into the use of connected industrial control systems. Researchers have found that in many cases, controllers for critical infrastructure have been exposed to the internet without basic security protections.