Internet of Things

Only 9% of consumers fully trust IoT devices, but many refuse to disconnect

Despite the lack of trust, it might be too late for a consumer to fully disconnect, a new Cisco report found.

A vast majority of consumers don't trust IoT devices, a new Cisco report found.

In a survey of 3,000 people, Cisco found only 9% of respondents have high levels of trust in IoT devices. One of the key reasons: Consumers believe their data is at risk. Only 14% believe tech companies are clear about how their data is used and collected, the report found.

Despite the lack of trust, IoT's perceived value is high, the report found. Slightly more than half said IoT makes their lives more convenient, and 47% said it helps them be more efficient, Cisco found.

SEE: Internet of Things policy (Tech Pro Research)

And it seems the value overrides the trust issues: Many said they would not disconnect from their IoT devices despite the potential trust issues. IoT devices may have reached the point of integration where it is incredibly difficult to disconnect, with 42% of respondents saying they were too connected to get out.

The survey aimed to help Cisco's IoT-focused business customers understand their audience and increase consumer confidence while understanding their concerns.

The findings may be troubling for businesses who sell IoT products, showing a potential barrier to getting people to purchase and use their products. Action may be needed to increase trust levels, Cisco said.

The findings suggest there may also be additional issues because the companies do not understand how the consumers perceive their products and services.

Consumer fear may extend, or even worsen, with business users or enterprises considering using IoT initiatives in their office or workflow. Depending on how they use IoT, businesses may have more confidential data or more on the line if the devices aren't secure.

Cisco's report outlined three ways businesses can improve consumer trust. First, create strong security for user data and be transparent about those policies with consumers. Second, take granular control over the data, setting up a plan to determine who gets what data and when. Finally, set up an accountability system to enforce security standards.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Only 9% of consumers say they have a high level of trust in IoT devices, a new Cisco report found.
  2. Despite the lack of trust, many see value in the devices and would not disconnect from them, even temporarily.
  3. While consumers are finding it increasingly difficult to disconnect, tech businesses can increase consumer trust by adopting strong security policies and being transparent about how they're using data.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/NicoElNino

About Olivia Krauth

Olivia Krauth is an Education Reporter at Insider Louisville.

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