Many Consumers Still Concerned About Smart-Home Devices

Security is a key issue for many, more so than price

Security plays a significant role for consumers in many facets of their lives—whether it's how data will be collected when they use their facial recognition device, or what they're giving up when they use free and often unsecured Wi-Fi.

So it's no surprise that a McAfee survey of US internet users in November 2017 found security was one of the most important features respondents look for when deciding to buy a smart-home device—more so than price or ease of use.

In fact, fully 36% of those polled said security was a feature they looked for before buying a smart-home device. Women (38%) were more likely than men (33%) to feel this way, as were young millennials.

By comparison, 32% of respondents said price was the most important feature to consider before purchasing a smart-home device, while just 13% cited ease of use.

By and large, McAfee found that many internet users (43%) feel a lack of control over a company's collection and usage of their personal information. Meanwhile, a third said they don't know to what degree they can control it. Just under a quarter (24%) felt confident that a company's collection and usage of their personal data is under their control.

McAfee's findings are in line with separate data from Irdeto, which polled internet users in several countries—Brazil, China, Germany, India, the UK and the US—and points to consumers' increased wariness of the potential pitfalls of smart devices that can be accessed remotely online.

Concerns were highest in Brazil (88%) and India (80%). The US fell close to the average, with 67% troubled about their devices’ security.