People care about their privacy, but not enough to quit buying gadgets that expose their personal data, says a new study on consumer habits. Consumers International and the Internet Society surveyed thousands of people across North America, Europe and Asia to better understand the relationship between consumers and'smart' devices -- a term they defined as'everyday device and products that can connect to the internet.' The study did not include phones and mobile apps, which present a vast and more complex array of privacy issues. What they found was that many respondents using products like Google Home or Amazon Echo, fitness wearables, gaming consoles and internet-connected home appliances shared concern over how those devices harvest and share their personal data. Consumers think that data collection of their smart devices is'creepy' according to a new study of consumers across the world.
If you find always-listening smart devices creepy, but bought an Amazon Echo anyway, you're not alone. A recent study from researchers at the University of Michigan found that people who own smart speakers are aware of the risks, but feel resigned to the idea that the erosion of privacy is now a fact of life. "What was really concerning to me was this idea that'it's just a little bit more info you give Google or Amazon, and they already know a lot about you, so how is that bad?'" said Florian Schaub, an assistant professor in the University of Michigan School of Information and a co-author of the study. "It's representative of this constant erosion of what privacy means and what our privacy expectations are." Smart home devices--like internet-connected speakers, TVs, and microwaves--have been involved in multiple privacy scandals.
Promoters talk behind a LG CINEMA 3D Smart TV during an event to launch the LG Electronics' new television in Seoul in 2012. The publication by WikiLeaks of documents it says are from the CIA's secret hacking program describe tools that can turn a world of increasingly networked, camera- and microphone-equipped devices into eavesdroppers. Smart televisions and automobiles now have on-board computers and microphones, joining the ubiquitous smartphones, laptops and tablets that have had microphones and cameras as standard equipment for a decade. That the CIA has created tools to turn them into listening posts surprises no one in the security community. A: The intrusion tools highlighted by the leak do not appear to be instruments of mass surveillance.