No IoT Adoption? Security and Privacy Fears may be the Reason

A survey finds fears about privacy and security are holding back IoT adoption.
A survey finds fears about privacy and security are holding back IoT adoption.

As the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) rages in Las Vegas this week, its tempting to look at the reports about connected devices and wonder when it is, exactly, that the tsunami of smart devices, wearable tech and intelligent appliances will finally wash over us.

But it might be even more useful to wonder why – given all the hype- we haven’t been washed out to sea already by the IoT wave. A recent article in Adweek calls attention to one leading theory about why the IoT isn’t gaining traction with everyday consumers: consumer worries about privacy and the security of data.

The Adweek article (and groovy infograph) make hay out of a case study by Affinnova, a marketing technology firm that was acquired by Nielsen. The study asked consumers to evaluate “more than 4 million product concept variations and identify the most desired products and functions.” The goal: insight into consumer preferences as well as barriers to mainstream adoption.

According to the company’s findings,  “unease about whether collected data would be secure and private” was a leading obstacle to adoption. Fifty three percent of those surveyed expressed concern about data sharing and 51% about hacking.

Consumers also worried that connected and autonomous systems might be unreliable proxies.

“While one might expect life automation to be met with fervent enthusiasm, many consumers worry that Web-enabled technologies may not be reliable decision-making proxies yet; 41 percent fear smart products could take actions that they, as individuals, would not have chosen to make on their own,” Affinnova said.

Read the Adweek report here.