10 Shocking Facts You Should Know About Connected Home

By Frederique Bros
on 7 July 2014

I believe a connected home (home in which household appliances and home electronics are seamlessly connected to the Internet) is extremely likely to become a reality in the next five years. However what security and privacy issues are in play? From the result of a global survey administered throughout 11 countries, here are the 10 shocking facts you should know about connected home.

10 Shocking Facts You Should Know About Connected Home

The survey was realised by Fortinet® (NASDAQ: FTNT) – a global leader in high-performance network security released the results of a global survey that probes homeowners about key issues pertaining to the Internet of Things and what homeowners are willing to do to enable it.

“The battle for the Internet of Things has just begun.  According to industry research firm IDC, the IoT market is expected to hit $7.1 trillion by 2020,” said Gary Gardiner, ANZ director of engineering at Fortinet.

Completed in June 2014, the survey asked 1,650 tech-savvy homeowners questions relating to the Internet of Things as it pertains to the connected home.  These were the top findings:

1. The Connected Home is a reality

– A majority (61 per cent) of all respondents believe that China led the world in this category with more than 84 per cent affirming support.

2. Homeowners are concerned about data breaches

– A majority of all respondents voiced their concern that a connected appliance could result in a data breach or exposure of sensitive, personal information. Globally, 69 per cent said that they were either “extremely concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about this issue.

3. Privacy and trust are concerns

– When asked about the privacy of collected data, a majority of global respondents stated, “Privacy is important to me, and I do not trust how this type of data may be used.”

– India led the world with this response at 63 per cent.

– Sixty per cent of Australians agreed with this statement.

4. Data privacy is an extremely sensitive issue

– Relating to privacy, respondents were also asked how they would feel if a connected home device was secretly or anonymously collecting information about them and sharing it with others. Most (62 per cent) answered “completely violated and extremely angry to the point where I would take action.” The strongest responses came from South Africa, Malaysia and the United States.

– Sixty per cent of Australians also agreed with this statement.

5. Users demand control over who can access collected data

– When asked who should have access to the data collected by a connected home appliance, 66 per cent stated that only themselves or those to whom they give permission should have this information.

– Sixty-six per cent of those in Australia wanted personal control over collected data. Around one-fifth of Australians felt that either the device manufacturer or their ISP should have access to the collected data.

6. Consumers look to their government for data regulation

– Many respondents (42 per cent) around the world stated that their government should regulate collected data, whereas 11 per cent said that regulation should be enforced by an independent, non-government organization.

– 42 per cent Australians agreed that the government should regulate collected data.

7. Device manufacturers are mostly on the hook for security

– If a vulnerability was discovered in a connected home device, 48 per cent of all surveyed agreed that the device manufacturer is responsible for updating/patching their device. However, nearly 31 per cent responded with “as a homeowner, it is my responsibility to make sure that the device is up to date.”

– Australians responded similarly with 43 per cent putting the responsibility on the device manufacturer.

8. The next looming battle: secure home routers versus clean pipes

– A clear schism appears worldwide when homeowners were asked about how connected home devices should be secured.  In nearly equal proportion were those who replied, “A home router should provide protection,” versus those who said, “My Internet provider should provide protection.”

– Australia was similar to the rest of the world, having nearly a 40-60 split for home router and Internet provider, respectively.

9. Homeowners are willing to pay for a connected home

– When asked, “would you be willing to pay for a new wireless router optimized for connected home devices,” 40 per cent responded with “definitely” and another 48 per cent said “maybe.” In a follow-up question, more than 50 per cent said they would pay more for their Internet service in order to “enable connected devices to function” in their home.

– Similar to the rest of the world, Australian homeowners would pay more; only 22 per cent said that they would not.

10. Price is the primary factor

– Although homeowners report a willingness to pay more to enable their connected home, when asked what factors impact their buying decisions of connected home devices, the number one answer that was consistent in all countries was price, followed by features/functionality and then manufacturer brand.

Survey Methodology

Research for the Internet of Things: Connected Home survey was conducted by GMI, a division of Lightspeed Research, a leading provider of technology-enabled solutions and online responses for global market research. Each respondent claimed to be a homeowner between the ages of 20-50 and was determined to have substantial technology experience. The survey was administered in the following countries: Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Malaysia, South Africa, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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