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Privacy concerns hamper IoT adoption

05 October 2017 - 09:24 by Simon Crisp

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While British consumers have led the way when it comes to embracing safe shopping online, a new report from Worldpay suggests that there is less enthusiasm for devices which make up the Internet of Things (IoT).

The biggest barrier to wider acceptances of smart appliances like fridges, speakers and wearables, is privacy. Analysts found that just under a quarter of people are happy with the idea of such gadgets automatically placing an order for them via safe shopping online.

Meanwhile, almost four out of five respondents to the survey said that they were concerned with the level of access to private data that businesses would be afforded if they started using connected appliances and other web-enabled devices more regularly.

Three quarters said that they thought cybercriminals would be more likely to exploit security vulnerabilities and steal sensitive data if they bought into the IoT.

A third of those questioned said that they could not think of a single advantage of automatic ordering which would outweigh the downsides that they perceive at the moment.

In this respect, the IoT clearly has an image issue, which in some ways could be justified. The emergence of smart devices has led to a race to offer increased web integration, often at the expense of security.

Shopping online from a desktop PC, smartphone or tablet is safe enough so long as reputable retailers are visited, but when it comes to allowing a different type of device to place orders of its own accord, there is less certainty and support.

Manufacturers and retailers need to do more to show that they are tackling security concerns and taking the threats that are faced by consumers seriously, or else they could find that the UK is a tough market to crack with IoT tech.