The good news is that consumers generally like Internet of Things (IoT) devices, but they also have a range of concerns as they don’t understand or trust how the data collected by such devices is being managed or used.
These are some of the major points to emerge from a new study of 3,000 consumers undertaken by Cisco entitled IoT Value/Trust Paradox.
The report says that whilst 53% of respondents believed that IoT devices make their life easier, only 9% have a high level of trust that their data collected and shared via IoT is secure. Nevertheless, despite the low levels of trust, 42% of respondents said they were not willing to disconnect their IoT devices because they bring sufficient value to them.
Generally speaking consumers are now much more aware of what constitutes IoT – when they were provided with a broad list of devices and asked to identify which were part of the IoT, 63% correctly identified personal devices (wearables, home security systems, and so on), though only 27% were aware of public IoT implementations such as street lighting and traffic systems.
There was also a significant perception of the value that IoT brings to consumers’ lives, with 53% of respondents feeling that it makes their lives more convenient, 47% saying it makes them more efficient, and 34% believing it increases their safety.
On the other hand, the fact that IoT technology is relatively new clearly causes some mistrust. For example, 52% of respondents reported that they “have either a low level of trust or no trust at all that their data is secure,” whilst only 14% of those questioned believe companies do a good job of informing them what data is being collected and how it is used.
Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco, summarised these concerns, saying: “Consumers are asking for more visibility into IoT data practices, and to increase transparency around IoT data governance and management.”
To help counter this lack of trust, Cisco is offering three pieces of advice for companies providing IoT services:
- Establish a clear, concise data policy that provides your users with a clear view on how you are using and securing their data and how this helps to improve their experiences
- Increase transparency around IoT data governance and management by using an IoT platform that can help determine who gets what data, where and when
- And finally, create accountability throughout your IoT value chain by putting IoT solutions in place that enforce minimum security standards and requirements so that each provider can be held accountable
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