The digitalization of our physical world—what many are now calling the ‘Internet of Things’—is challenging our expectations of privacy. Adding sensors to ourselves, and to the objects and places around us, renders our physical world communicable, contextual, and trackable. The full implications of ubiquitous connectivity can’t be fully understood or foreseen– by the industry driving it, never mind the end users assumed to adopt it.
Altimeter Group conducted a survey of 2,062 American consumers to ascertain consumer perceptions of privacy around the Internet of Things. This report summarizes findings and insights from this data in an effort to address the unprecedented implication and challenge of the Internet of Things: privacy.
Consumers are decidedly anxious about the use and sales of their data, especially in physical environments; At least half of consumers surveyed express extreme discomfort with the use and sale of their data across all realms, from their bodies to public spaces, and everywhere in between. Our research finds a massive gulf between consumer awareness and industry practices when it comes to privacy, one which businesses that wish to effectively apply sensors to their consumer-facing programs must address immediately.
The findings of this study reveal more than a concerned citizenry, they reveal tremendous opportunities for companies to foster more trusted customer relationships. Readers of this report will access numerous data charts, findings and analysis of our survey, as well five ways to begin communicating with and engaging consumers more effectively about the use of their data.
Finally, the impact of the Internet of Things of customer experience, as well as our understanding of privacy, consent, value exchange, and our relationship with technology in this new realm are an ongoing source of inspiration and imperative for continued research for me. I invite your feedback, insights, and collaboration as we all work to better understand, define, and harness for good, a world of ubiquitous connectivity.