Utimaco, a leading provider of IT security solutions, has unveiled the findings of a new consumer research report that reveals a lack of trust in Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The study highlights the urgent need for the industry to educate consumers about how these smart devices are protected using advanced digital security solutions.
The report, titled “Circles of Trust 2023: Exploring Consumer Trust in the Digital Society”, examines how consumers perceive trust in an increasingly digital world. This year’s survey expands the geographical scope to include thousands of consumers from Mexico, the USA, and Singapore, in addition to Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The focus is on attitudes towards the use and security of IoT technology and smart cities.
The research shows a significant difference in responses between countries with the highest and lowest GDP per capita, compared to those in the middle. The poorest and richest nations exhibited the most enthusiasm for digital technology in their everyday lives and expressed the least concern about security. However, it is worth noting that the United States reported significantly higher levels of cybercrime compared to other countries.
The IoT market, which includes a wide range of technologies from advanced robotics systems in manufacturing to smart home devices, is expected to reach $662 billion by the end of this year. The study identifies several key obstacles to widespread trust in IoT technology among consumers. First and foremost, only 24% of respondents claimed to understand the meaning of “Internet of Things.” This suggests that the term, despite being widely used in the industry for many years, has not effectively permeated the minds of consumers. When looking at individual countries, Singapore had the highest percentage of respondents who could define the term (33%), while the UK had the lowest (20%).
This trend continued when consumers were asked about their use of IoT technology, with only 26% globally confirming that they did. However, when the same question was posed using the term “smart technology,” the figure soared to 38%. In Mexico, an impressive 53% said they used IoT devices. Additionally, when asked about specific IoT/smart devices, the majority of respondents from all countries reported using at least one type of smart device. For example, 61% owned a Smart TV, and 52% utilized a virtual assistant like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home.
The report argues that these findings underscore the need for better communication with the general public and the implementation of robust digital security solutions to protect IoT and smart city infrastructures. By doing so, the industry can foster greater trust among consumers and drive the adoption of IoT technology with confidence.
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