Most People Don’t Know How Data is Shared on Connected Devices, According to Study

53% of people who own connected devices aren’t planning on buying another within the next year, a study has found. Clutch, a B2B market research company, surveyed 503 people that own connected devices to find out which devices they use the most, how people use the devices, and how they plan to use connected devices in the future. Over two-thirds of the people surveyed owned smart home appliances like thermostats, locks, and TVs. Coming in second at 35% was wearables like the Apple Watch. Less than a third of people had digital assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Home.

Clutch connected devices survey
Most people said the biggest benefit of their connected devices was access to important info, according to the survey

The study also found that people aren’t completely sold on connected devices. Not only did over half of the people say that they weren’t planning on buying another connected device in the next year, but 64% reported that they could do their day-to-day activities without connected devices. Unlike smartphones, which people use constantly for everything from mapping directions to communicating with friends and family, most people use connected devices for singular functions like checking the weather. The majority of the people surveyed didn’t know their devices’ full scope of abilities.

The study also found that most users of connected devices aren’t aware of how companies collect and use consumer data.

“Your data is shared across entire networks…all of your data is stored somewhere. Regular smartphone users don’t think about it and don’t think it really matters to them,”

said Pavel Shlenok, CTO of R-Style Lab, a software development company. Clutch’s survey confirmed this notion, as only 40% of the people surveyed knew that their data is shared across multiple devices. 31% of people thought their data was not shared across multiple devices, while 29% of people admitted that they weren’t sure. Their ignorance is especially pertinent as companies like Amazon have found major security flaws in their connected devices.

As connected devices are in their relatively early stages of technology, users’ experiences have come with challenges and benefits. The biggest challenge found in the survey was connecting to networks at 19%. Second in place was maintenance of connected devices at 13%. Other challenges included buying the device and not using it, sharing data across devices, and device malfunctions. On the other hand, connected devices do have their benefits, the biggest being access to important information at 39%. Another 20% said the biggest benefit of using connected devices was controlling their smart home devices remotely. As Gartner Inc. has forecasted that their will be 20.4 connected devices by 2020, it’s expected that people will expand their knowledge and usage of connected devices.

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza is a journalist living in Brooklyn, New York. Throughout her career, her work has spanned many intersections within the tech industry. At SquareFoot, a New York-based real estate technology company, she wrote about the ways in which technology has changed the real estate industry, as well as the challenges that business owners face when they want to invest in property. At Degreed.com, an education technology website, Aliza created digital content for lifelong learners, exploring the ways in which technology has democratized education. Additionally, she has written articles for The Huffington Post as well as her own content on Medium, the online publishing platform. Aliza’s love of journalism and research stems from the excellent Journalism program at Brandeis University. At Brandeis, Aliza interned as a research assistant at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit “news room without walls”. There, Aliza was paired with an investigative journalist and used academic databases to obtain data on everything from the suicide rates in Bhutan to local Boston court cases. Her last position was as an account executive at Yelp, educating business owners on the power of technology to increase revenue. Throughout, however, her heart remained with tech journalism, and she’s thrilled to be writing for Security Baron. When she’s not keeping afloat of the latest tech trends, Aliza likes to cook, read, and write. A former high school “Class Clown,” Aliza has completed two feature-length screenplays, a pilot, and countless comedic sketches. On her days off you can find her relaxing in Prospect Park, trying the latest flavors at Ample Hills Ice Cream, and spending time with friends and family.

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