In the annual survey conducted by global non-profit The Internet Society, it shows that internet users in the Asia-Pacific region want to fully embrace the life of Internet of Things (IoT). However, many of the surveyed (9 out 10) said they do not trust IoT manufacturers and service providers to secure the devices.
Majority of the respondents already own IoT devices and even plans to purchase more. Seven-in-10 respondents own at least one IoT device and close to half already own three or more devices. Also, close to three-quarters of the respondents plan to purchase an IoT device in the next 12 months.
The APAC Internet Policy Issues Survey polled nearly 1,000 Internet users across 22 Asia-Pacific economies on IoT security and privacy risks.
Aside from smartphones, the other most popular devices include internet-connected appliances like smart TVs and refrigerators, connected wearables, fitness monitors, voice command systems like Google Home, and virtual reality headsets.
Enterprises have anticipated the amount of data IoT will generate but security hasn’t been discussed as much.
Security concerns eclipse the benefits of a connected home or world. The poll revealed that two-in-three respondents say security is one of the key factors that would influence their decision to purchase an IoT device. The other top factors in the purchase decision include device features, pricing, and device brand.
About 60 percent of respondents who still don’t use an IoT device said there is a slim chance for them to purchase one “if there are no guarantees that the personal information collected will be fully protected.”
“There is a need to ensure that manufacturers and suppliers of IoT products and services protect consumers and the privacy of their data,” said Rajnesh Singh, regional director of the Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau at the Internet Society. “Currently, the measures that are in place do not match the degree of concern from current and future owners of IoT devices.”
The survey also revealed the major concerns of the respondents and these are:
81 percent were worried about their personal information being leaked
73 percent were worried that hackers may take control of their devices and used them to commit crimes
72 percent were worried about hackers gaining access to personal information
71 percent were worried about being monitored without their knowledge or consent
Still, even if consumers voice out these concerns, they themselves feel that they are not equipped to protect themselves. The survey saw that “only half of those who own an IoT device have changed default passwords, and only a third have read the privacy and policy terms and conditions of their device. Notably, of those who did not change device passwords: 30 percent decided not to, 10 percent did not know how and close to 50 percent claimed their device did not have one.”
The good thing that came out of the survey is that consumers know what they want and that is “for security and privacy protections to come as standard across all IoT devices, with 9 out of 10 stating as such. A similar number also wished for a security guarantee through a trust mark of certification label to be implemented.”
Additional controls that consumers would like to see implemented include:
The option to delete personal data collected (84 percent)
Know what kinds of personal data the IoT device captures (84 percent)
Know who can access this information (83 percent)
Know how this information is used (77 percent)
Know where this information is stored (72 percent)
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