According to Parks Associates, consumers have high concerns overall regarding the security of their personal data and device security, including 77% of U.S. broadband households who are very concerned about someone hacking their online service. Additionally, 75% worry about their computer being hacked, and 66% are concerned about their smart TV or streaming media player being compromised. The research house notes that those concerns are not having much of an impact on device purchasing, as levels of concern are virtually identical between those planning to purchase a CE device and those not intending to purchase.
"Consumer concerns about sharing data have virtually no impact on device ownership and purchase decisions," said Craig Leslie, Parks senior analyst. "On average, consumers concerned with personal information security actually own more connected devices, almost nine on average, than consumers without concerns, who have an average of eight. However, continued high-profile data breaches or privacy violations could reverse this trend, so device and content companies need to work now to develop or strengthen trust with their consumers."
Parks research indicates that consumers are far more likely to share their data if they are confident in its security, which naturally biases them toward more traditional and more established vendor types.
"Consumers are moving forward with purchases despite their concerns, which may indicate a lack of choice or resignation more than consumer preference," Leslie said. "Companies in this space can differentiate their solutions by offering more user control options, clearer explanation of data usage, and promotion of security features ignored by other vendors. Giving consumers control over their data will build trust among users who increasingly feel powerless."