Research firm Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) reports 47% of U.S. broadband households have privacy or security concerns about smart home devices. The connected home industries need to formalize strategies, such as consumer privacy rights, in order to push these markets forward, according to the research group.
“Recent high-profile media reports of hacks into smart baby monitors and connected cars, whether valid or not, have heightened consumer concerns over privacy and security for connected home systems,” says Tom Kerbersaid, director of Research, Home Controls & Energy, Parks Associates. “Companies need to move quickly to reinforce the security of their solutions as well as ensure the consumer’s right to privacy.”
Parks Associates says that if firms offer a bill of rights to consumers, specifically the rights to be invisible, to approve who uses the data, and to be erased, these efforts could ease concerns for nearly three-fourths of U.S. consumers.
“Finding the right balance between ease-of-use and security is a challenge in designing and deploying smart home products,” says Maia Hinkle, research analyst, Parks Associates. “Consumers do not want to have to enter a password just to turn on a light, so the market needs solutions that are cross-platform and user friendly. Consumers expect convenience and control both with their smart devices and the data that the devices produce.”