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Smart Home Consumers' Privacy and Security Perceptions and Practices

December 7, 2020


Julie Haney - NIST
Susanne Furman - NIST
Yasemin Acar - Leibniz University Hannover


Smart home technologies may expose adopters to increased risk to network security, information privacy, and physical safety. However, consumers may lack understanding of the privacy and security implications, while devices fail to provide transparency and configuration options. To better understand perceptions of and challenges with smart home privacy and security, we conducted an in-depth interview study of 40 smart home consumers. In this talk, we report on participants' perceptions of data collection and use, their privacy and security concerns, and the mitigations they employ to alleviate concerns. Although consumers may have concerns, many participants displayed a willingness to accept risks in favor of smart home benefits, and they feel limited responsibility for mitigating these due to constrained options or lack of knowledge to enact more sophisticated countermeasures. Based on the results, we also provide suggestions for manufacturers and third parties about how they might empower users to take protective actions for their smart home devices.
Created November 28, 2023