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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : April 11, 2016

21% globally have concerns that IoT machines will take over the world

In a global study, trust-related issues were found to be at the forefront of consumers' minds when considering the future of a connected world with the Internet of Things.

by Helen Leggatt

MEF_Logo_black100.pngMEF's latest report in their Global Consumer Survey delves into consumers' views of the Internet of Things (IoT). Across eight markets - China, Brazil, France, Germany, India, South Africa, the UK and the US - it found that trust-related issues such as privacy and security were top of the list of concerns.

Globally, issues surrounding privacy (62%) and security (54%) dominated, more so than concerns about physical safety (27%) or being unable to fix IoT technology if it were to fail.

However, privacy concerns are higher than the global average in the USA (70%) and France (69%), while security concerns are higher than the global average in the UK (67%).


The IoT application about which consumers harbor the greatest concern is home security (30%) - more so than connected cars (12%) or heating systems (6%). A quarter of respondents globally said health-related information was the most sensitive when it comes to connected devices, with consumers in China being the most concerned (44%). In the USA and Germany, however, there is "heightened sensitivity" about location data (52% and 50% respectively versus a global average of 43%).

There are those, however, who believe the IoT to be rather more nefarious. Twenty-one percent globally have concerns that the IoT will result in connected machine taking over the world, more than the number who are concerned they would not know how to use them (17%).

A recent survey in the UK by mobile and Internet security firm BullGuard found that while many consumers were interested in purchasing connected IoT devices, the risk of hacking, or theft of data, was something that two-thirds (66%) were 'very' or 'highly' concerned about.

More than half (57%) were concerned about privacy breaches. Even those who feel they are tech-savvy, and have lived with technology for decades, have concerns. Nearly a quarter (22%) of respondents said they had advanced technical skills but even they were not confident they could keep their IoT devices safe.

Tags: Internet of Things, IoT trends, survey, technology

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