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BlackBerry Survey: Consumers Don’t Trust Connected Devices to Keep Data Secure

By Bruce Brown

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At CES 2019, BlackBerry Limited reported the results of a recent survey that found most adults don’t trust connected devices to keep data safe.

BlackBerry, a Waterloo, Ontario-based communications security technology company, commissioned Atomik Research to run the service. Conducted during December 2018, the survey respondents comprised 4,010 adults in the U.S., U.K., and Canada.

The types of devices considered in the survey included connected cars, drones, health monitors, televisions, cameras, and smart home speakers and other smart home devices.

Roughly 80 percent of the consumers who participated in the survey indicated they do not trust the Internet-connected devices they currently own to protect either their data or their privacy.

The survey also queried consumers about future connected device purchases. According to BlackBerry, most responded they would prefer some way to know which companies had reputations for strong data security and privacy protection and would rather buy products from companies with high standards. Currently, however, 36 percent indicated they had no idea what security certifications exist for internet-connected devices.

“This survey shows there is a real opportunity for companies to differentiate their products by providing a higher level of security and data privacy,” said Mark Wilson, Chief Marketing Officer at BlackBerry. “Similar to the rise in demand for organic food and sustainable goods, we believe that educated consumers — many who have been victims of cyber attacks and uninvited use of personal data — will help drive the private and public sectors to align on a safety and security standard.”

Asked about their willingness to pay extra for products from companies identified as meeting security and privacy standards, 58 percent of the respondents indicated they would pay more. Ten percent of the surveyed consumers would pay up to 20 percent extra for products they believed they could trust, although most consumers would rather pay 10 percent or less to be assured their data was safe. Twenty-three percent of those surveyed said they would pay up to a five percent premium for greater data safety.

BlackBerry focused on connected cars in its report on the survey results. Extrapolating from the questions about consumers being willing to pay more for more secure products, BlackBerry stated that 23 percent would spend up to $1,700 extra for a car with safe and secure connectivity software. The price premium is based on a Kelly Blue Book estimated average dealer price of $35,742 for a new U.S. light vehicle in September 2018. BlackBerry also said because 10 percent of consumers said they would pay up to 20 percent more for data security, they would therefore be willing to pay an additional $7,000.

Asked about their preferences for trusted digital assistants installed in vehicles, 32 percent of the survey respondents wanted none. Of the remainder, 25 percent preferred Google Assistant, 19 percent chose Siri, 16 percent selected Amazon Alexa, five percent checked Microsoft Cortana, and three percent chose IBM’s Watson.

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