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Offers tempt consumers to share

News, 04 April 2016

GLOBAL: More than half (54%) of consumers around the world say they might be prepared to share their personal data collected from their smart home in exchange for coupons and discounts, a global survey has revealed.

Intel Security, formerly known as McAfee, commissioned a poll of 9,000 consumers last year for its "Internet of Things and the Smart Home" report, which also was released last week by the Atlantic Council, an international think tank.

Respondents came from Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Mexico, the US and the UK. Taken together, 70% of these consumers believed that companies should give coupons and discounts in return for details about their device usage.

In addition, close to two-thirds (60%) claimed they would allow companies to access data about their daily habits in return for payment.

Millennials, in particular, indicated they might be comfortable taking money, discounts and coupons in exchange for sharing their behavioural data from their smart home devices. Almost two-thirds (63%) said they would do so for money, 44% for discounts and 29% for coupons.

As consumers become more familiar with the concept of the Internet of Things, the survey also found that more than three-quarters (77%) of global consumers believed that smart homes will be as common in 2015 as smartphones are today.

A similar proportion (75%) expected to see personal benefits from living in a smart home and thought the most likely domestic smart devices will be designed to operate lighting (73%), kitchen appliances (62%), and thermostats or boilers (60%).

However, while consumers showed themselves to be savvy about the potential benefits, the thorny and ongoing issue of data security and privacy also emerged in the survey results.

Respondents were almost universally worried about potential security threats from smart homes, with 92% expressing concern that their personal data could be hacked by cybercriminals.

Commenting on the report, Steve Grobman, chief technology officer at Intel Security, said: "Smart homes and their associated data have the potential to improve consumers' everyday lives.

"The survey shows that many individuals would be comfortable sharing their data for a price, but they are still understandably concerned about cyber-threats. Security has to be foundational to the Internet of Things and when done right, it can be an enabler of IoT."

Data sourced from Intel Security; additional content by Warc staff