University of Oulu

The benefits and challenges of technology neutral regulation

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Author: Puhakainen, Essi1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Pages: 50
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : E. Puhakainen, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-06-17
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Väyrynen, Karin
Reviewer: Väyrynen, Karin
Rajanen, Mikko


This master’s thesis is based on a scientific article “The Benefits and Challenges of a of Technology Neutral Regulation — A Scoping Review” (Puhakainen & Väyrynen, 2021). The article was published in the PACIS conference during summer 2021. A scoping literature review was conducted to answer to the research question of the article: “What are the benefits and challenges related to a technology neutral regulation of ICT?”. In total, 4 different categories of benefits were identified, while 7 different categories for challenges were identified.

This master’s thesis further explains how the research and article writing process of said published article went on. It also continues the research on the principle of technology neutrality that was started with the article. The topic of technology neutrality was examined because it is still an undertheorized tool for legislation which also divides opinion of the researchers. The research questions examined in this thesis revolved around how the tone regarding technology neutrality has developed based on the research that was included in the article, and how some of the groundbreaking research was discussed in subsequent research. According to the results, the tone has shifted from mostly positive and accepting to questioning and critique. Also, some themes that were addressed in the research papers were examined more thoroughly. These themes were theory of the principle of technology neutrality, spectrums, and legal access to traffic data and privacy. Future research questions were suggested.

The general result of this master’s thesis is the notion that the principle of technology neutrality and applying it to regulation are still in progress, as the scholars have major disagreement regarding whether technology neutrality is possible or worth pursuing, and whether these questions differ depending on the context of where the principle is to be applied.

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Copyright information: © Essi Puhakainen, 2022. Except otherwise noted, the reuse of this document is authorised under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence ( This means that reuse is allowed provided appropriate credit is given and any changes are indicated. For any use or reproduction of elements that are not owned by the author(s), permission may need to be directly from the respective right holders.