People are shying away from home-based IoT devices because of concerns surrounding protection, according to services firm Deloitte.
In their 2017 Global Mobile Consumer Survey, Deloitte notes a ‘lag’ in desire between IoT entertainment systems (game consoles, wireless TVs, etc.) and connected vehicles (route tracking, predictive maintenance, etc.) versus interest in home securities.
The survey found that more than 40% of respondents agreed that smartphone technology reveals too much about their personal lives, and nearly 40% worry that their smartphone usage can be tracked.
Additionally, less than one-in-five customers believe that they are well informed about the security risks associated with connected home devices, and 40% reporting that they are not well informed at all.
That being said, Deloitte also found that 91% of consumers willingly accept legal terms and conditions without reading them before installing apps, latching onto Wi-Fi hotspots, accepting updates, and signing up to online services such as video streaming. For ages 18–34, that rate of ‘blind’ T&C acceptance reaches 97%.
Deloitte explains these anomalies in the report by noting that complicated language (which could change with the arrival of GDPR), and a lack of choice means that customers don’t consider complex Terms and Conditions a ‘barrier’.
These actions are particularly notable given that more than 80% of customers also believe that companies use their personal data, and a further 78% think that their data is shared with third parties.
The information which customers feel that they are giving away also varies between platform. Online, 58% of consumers are willing to give away identifiable information, such as a name or email address, but are far less likely to share information about health (7%). Only 13% claimed to never share any identifiable information, such as name, phone number, photos, contact list, browsing activity, purchase history or health metrics.
Blockchain as a solution?
With distrust apparently so inherent in internet of things security systems, can we expect any kind of large adoption of IoT? Ben Smeets, a Senior Expert in Trusted Computing at Ericsson Research, has claimed that blockchain could be the answer. Speaking at Arm TechCon 2017, Smeets pitched the concept of ‘ID brokering’ – a system of distributing layers of authentication across IoT devices, just like ledgers in a blockchain.
Ericcson Research demonstrated a proof-of-concept at the 2017 Mobile World Congress. The tests showed that a distributed leger which is shared between devices is not easily hacked, as a device cannot access the IoT network unless it has been verified through the entire leger.
Currently, blockchain is still not a mainstream method of authenticating software. However, as interest in IoT devices continues to peak, and biometrics still clearly require some work, blockchain could quickly find its way into common usage.