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81% Americans Worried About Privacy With The Internet of Things

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

While the Internet of Things (IOT) enabled Smart Devices are getting increasingly popular, a lot of people still do not trust the technology due to the privacy challenges associated with it. A recent research commissioned by NXP Semiconductors, makers of IOT enabled automotive, home, portable and wearable solutions; also confirms that despite the advances made in the technology, people are still worried about the privacy aspects of using the technology. The study was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of NXP in the month of December’ 2014 and it targeted 2,042 adults from United States.

As per the data published by NXP, 81 percent of participants who participated in the survey admitted that their decision to invest in an IOT enabled home device or a connected gadget for workplace or car gets adversely impacted by the privacy concerns associated with the technology. A large majority of the respondents (56 percent) also admitted that such concerns overshadow their investment decisions to a large or at least some extent.

The research also sheds a light on the key privacy challenges associated with the technology. Among the privacy concerns cited by the participants, sharing of financial information topped the list with 60 percent. Other privacy concerns included sharing of private conversations (43 percent), sharing of information on day-to-day activities (54 percent), sharing of location details (47 percent), sharing of identity of people visiting them (30 percent), sharing of personal beliefs including political and religious views (23 percent) as well as sharing information about leisure time (24 percent).

In addition to the above privacy concerns, 69 percent of the respondents also had apprehensions about using an Internet of Things connected car. Some of the biggest privacy worries related to using a connected car included sharing of location details (45 percent), sharing of conversations that took place while inside the car (41 percent), sharing of driving offences committed (31 percent), sharing of driving speed (33 percent), sharing of date and time details of their journey (23 percent) as well as sharing of the identity of other people with whom they drive (28 percent).

Despite the privacy concerns, most respondents had a positive view about the technology itself. Among the participants, 69 percent believed that Internet of Things enabled gadgets made their life easier in several ways. The respondents cited saving of time (45 percent), improvement in social communications (24 percent), ability to get things done (37 percent), saving of money (44 percent), improvement in education (23 percent), reduction in stress (32 percent) as well as the ability to remain entertained (27 percent) as some of the most important benefits of using the technology. Other benefits cited by the respondents included the ability to shop for things online (36 percent), remain updated on the current events (35 percent), the ability to share experiences as they happen (23 percent) as well as the feeling that their loved ones (33 percent) and home (30 percent) are safe when they are away.

The future of Internet of Things is indeed bright due to the exciting possibilities offered by the technology. However, as the above survey shows, device makers and technology companies need to do a lot of work in order to address the privacy concerns of the consumers and make the technology more popular and mainstream.

February 4, 2015

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