Trust-related concerns could hamper consumer adoption of IoT

The latest report by the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) has revealed that global consumers are wary of Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

Supported by online security company, AVG Technologies, the survey reveals that while consumers see the tangible benefit of IoT (just one in ten say a world of connected devices won’t deliver such value), more than half also harbour concerns about the perceived risks and threats in a world of connected devices.

Globally 60 per cent are worried about the Internet of Things, and especially so in growth markets such as Brazil, India and South Africa (66 per cent), although in the UK it appears to be less of an issue (50 per cent). Trust-related issues privacy and security were the top concerns, named twice as often as real-world concerns such as physical safety or not being able to fix the technology if it breaks down.

Home security is, remarkably, the IOT application about which consumers have the greatest concern at 30 per cent, a marked increase over, for example, connected cars or connected heating systems.

A quarter of respondents consider health-related information as the most sensitive data when it comes to connected devices, and this is especially the case in China. By contrast, in more mature markets such as USA and Germany, there is heightened sensitivity around location data.


Growing concerns

“Nothing less than a technology evolution is underway, opening a world of possibilities to explore the Internet of Things (IoT),” said Todd Simpson, Chief Strategy Officer for AVG Technologies. “And yet, as the network of IoT devices grows, so, too, do consumers’ understandable concerns about what this increased connectivity and data sharing means for security. If the IoT is to stand any chance of long-term, safe adoption that will benefit not just innovative companies but also the customers they’re here to serve, we need to make secure by design a fundamental standard, no matter the device.”

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