Many consumers are concerned about the privacy and security issues associated with the spread of everyday devices connected to the Internet, a development known as the Internet of Things, according to a recent global survey by Mobile Ecosystem Forum Ltd.

Mobile Ecosystem Forum commissioned mobile market research firm On Device Research for the survey of more than 5,200 mobile device users in the United Kingdom, United States, Brazil, France, Germany, China, India and South Africa in Q3 2015.

Overall, 60% of global consumers are worried about the Internet of Things. 62% of global consumers who are concerned say that privacy is a worry in a world of connected devices. Security (54%) ranks second, followed by physical safety (27%), unable to repair the devices (24%), machines taking over the earth (21%), not knowing how to use them (17%) and no tangible benefits (11%). Consumers could pick more than once response.

In the U.S., privacy concerns jump to 70%, higher than the global average of 62%, according to the study.

In terms of which Internet of Things devices global consumers are most concerned about, home security is the greatest concern (30%), followed by house doors (15%). Connected cars (12%) is next, followed by TV (10%), heating systems (6%), smoke detectors (6%), ovens (5%) and lighting (5%.) Consumers could pick more than one response.


In the U.S., consumers are more concerned about the security of their house doors, as 36% cited this as a concern, above the global average of 15%.

Businesses that deploy an IoT product should build trust with consumers by clearly communicating the data that a device collects and how it is used, says Rimma Perelmuter, CEO of Mobile Ecosystem Forum.

“This survey clearly identifies the need for the industry to consider how such technology and services are rolled out when it comes to building a trusted relationship with consumers,” Perelmuter says.

Nearly 20% of U.S. broadband households own a smart home device, or a household object that connects to the Internet, and nearly 45% of U.S. broadband households plan to buy a smart home device in the next 12 months, according to international market research firm Parks Associates.


The Mobile Ecosystem Forum survey also finds:

  • 24% of global consumers say health-related information is the most sensitive kind of data.
  • 52% of global consumers demand transparency from wearables providers regarding the use of their data.
  • 52% of U.S. consumers consider location data as the most sensitive data when it comes to connected devices. The global average is 43%


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