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TRUSTe Survey: U.S. Users Want Control Of Web-Connected Device Data Collection

Monday, June 2, 2014

By Joyce E. Cutler

May 30 — A survey report released May 29 by TRUSTe Inc. said that 85 percent of respondents indicated they would want to understand what personal information was being collected about them prior to purchasing a “smart device” designed to be connected to the Internet.

In addition, 88 percent of the 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18-75 surveyed Feb. 14-17 by marketing research company Ispos said they would want to control who could access collected personal information.

The “Internet of Things Privacy Index” survey found 46 percent of respondents disagreed that benefits of connected devices outweighed any concerns about personal information the devices collect.

Half of those surveyed said they are “very concerned” about the types information being collected about them, while 1 percent said they are “not at all concerned,” report said.

Trust in Sharing Depends on Recipient

While 42 percent of respondents indicated they are “very comfortable” sharing personal information accessed through smart devices with their spouse or significant other, the figure dropped to 10 percent when it came to sharing such information with the police, 7 percent for sharing with insurance companies and 4 percent for sharing with energy companies, the government and market researchers, the report said.

More people were uncomfortable about sharing their information with the government (42 percent) than their bosses (33 percent) and advertising companies (30 percent), the report said.

“We stand on the verge of a data explosion from interconnected devices that offers huge potential benefits to society and business opportunities—but as this research confirms, privacy concerns could be a potential barrier to growth,” TRUSTe Chief Executive Officer Chris Babel said in a May 29 statement.

An estimated 26 billion devices worldwide will be Internet-connected by 2020, a 30-fold increase from the current combined 7.3 billion smartphones, tablets and personal computers, TRUSTe said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joyce E. Cutler in San Francisco at jcutler@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Donald G. Aplin at daplin@bna.com

Full text of the survey report is available at http://op.bna.com/pl.nsf/r?Open=dapn-9klmzu.

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