Many IoT systems aren't only pervasive. They're also unobtrusive to the point of invisibility.
Which is the point. One of the beauties of an IoT system is the way it frictionlessly augments reality, helping us save energy, manage our offices or homes, or find a parking space without our even noticing that we're getting any help at all.
That said, such unobtrusiveness can raise ethical flags. To find a way around this problem, van der Heide insists that every IoT system at some point “show itself," in his words—that is, make clear to the human beings who populate its space that it exists, and that those human beings exist within its terms. “Showing itself" might be as simple a matter as signage that announces to city residents that they're entering an area where sensors are tracking how and where they move.
Still, a system that shows itself isn't necessarily a system that you can easily opt out of. But there is a major ethical difference between a pervasive system that transparently announces its presence and one that doesn't.
On the other hand, context matters—in digital ethics, as in all things. IoT decision-makers should approach ethical matters with an eye towards what a reasonable human being would consider reasonable. An IoT system that manages office lighting, and that uses the information it gathers for no grander purpose than to route employees between well-lit spaces, is in a different ethical category than other, more comprehensive systems with more ambitious (and intrusive) plans for how they're going to use their data.