New Study: Could Consumer Mistrust Crush IoT?

Study: IoT could cut energy consumption.Study: IoT could cut energy consumption.

Surprising new research shows consumers are concerned that technology could take over … and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

A survey by global trade body Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) in partnership with AVG Technologies shows that as many as 60 percent of consumers worldwide are worried about connected devices and the Internet of Things (IoT). One in 10 don’t even see a benefit to IoT benefits at all.

With that said, Gartner Research is forecasting that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016. That’s up 30 percent from 2015. The firm also estimates that (IoT) will support total services spending of $235 billion in 2016. That’s up 22 percent from 2015.

The lesson here is there’s a lot of money to made in this industry, but in order to reap the benefits, we need to quell customers’ fears over privacy, security and transparency.

According to MEF’s research, which surveyed 5,000 mobile users worldwide, privacy and security seem to be the biggest threats. Home security raises the most concern among connected devices and applications. And believe it or not, one in five consumers (21 percent) even worry that IoT would result in machines taking over the Earth.

Mobile Ecosystem Forum results.
Mobile Ecosystem Forum results.

RELATED: Too Such, Too Soon? Advice for Securing IoT

Survey Breakdown

  • Privacy, or a lack of it, is what drives concern about IoT in the USA (70 percent) and France (69 percent) versus a global average of 62 percent.
  • Around the world, 54 percent name security as their number one concern, in the UK it’s significantly higher (67 percent).
  • 65 percent of Chinese and 61 percent of South African mobile users demand transparency from wearable providers over the use of their data, compared to 52 percent worldwide.

“Nothing less than a technology evolution is underway, opening a world of possibilities to explore the Internet of Things (IoT),” says 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 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.”

We want to know what you think about security concerns when it comes to IoT? Have your consumers voiced these concerns? What are you doing about it? Let us know in the comment section below.

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About The Author

Andrea Medeiros is editor-in-chief, multimedia director and content developer at TecHome Builder. She is a former TV news reporter turned home technology guru and is using her broadcast journalism skills to help our team deliver complicated, tech-focused content in a conversational way. She has a decade of experience in the editorial realm—interviewing, writing and editing stories as well as shooting, editing and producing video content. She is most interested in covering interoperability among smart devices.

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