Survey: Consumers Scared of Smart Home Devices Invading Their Privacy

A new survey reveals what consumers use their smart home security systems for, as well as what new tech has them worried.

A common consensus in the industry is consumers want convenience, but not at the expense of risking their privacy.

This notion is reinforced by a new study conducted by Ooma, a smart home and VoIP service provider. A study of 2,000 U.S. consumers found that 72% of people with smart home security systems are concerned that companies are misusing their personal data.

Likely in response to Amazon Key, respondents are wary of smart home tech that involves granting access to their homes, with 87% of people saying they feel uncomfortable about companies wanting to deliver parcels inside their homes, and 88% feeling negatively about delivery companies using data collected about them to work out when they are likely to be at home.

People also said they don’t want others to feel as if they are being spied on when visiting. 23% of respondents said they turn off their system when visitors are over so they don’t feel spied on.  

The survey found that consumers primarily want to use smart home technology for security, with 47% using it to deter burglars, 43% monitoring what’s happening outside and inside their homes when they’re away and 42% using it to detect unexpected motion on their home’s windows or doors.

Here are some other findings from the survey:

  • 27%  use their smart home system to regularly check in on their children and/or pets while away  
  • Only 18% of people admitted to keeping an eye on regular in-house workers, such as a cleaner, nanny or dog walker, through their smart home system
  • Just 15% check in on irregular in-house workers such as a builder, plumber or other contractor 
  • 41% use smart home technology to detect smoke in their home
  • 38% call 911 remotely from their mobile phone if their home security is compromised 

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