Privacy Questions Remain as 73% Think They Should Own The Personal Data Collected Using Smart Devices

London, January 5th, 2015 – The Internet of Things (IoT) will remain a trending topic in 2015, as 41% of online British consumers now own at least one smart device other than a smart phone according to new research released by TRUSTe. The most popular devices are smart TVs (24%), in-car navigation systems (21%), followed by fitness bands (3%) and smart meters (3%).

While the number of connected devices available on the market continues to grow, so does the amount of data being collected. The research shows that 80% of British consumers are concerned about the idea of their personal information collected by smart devices and 73% believe they should own the personal data collected by using their smart devices, raising even more questions about consumer privacy concerns in the big data era. Only 14% think that the benefits of smart devices outweigh any privacy concerns about the personal information they may collect. Interestingly, 83% were not aware of the term ‘Internet of Things,’ which implies that the Internet of Things is a term common amongst tech industry enthusiasts, but not consumers.

The ‘TRUSTe Internet of Things Privacy Index 2015 – GB edition’ was conducted by Ipsos MORI, with 1,000 online adults in Great Britain aged 16-75 between 28th November and 5th December 2014 on behalf of TRUSTe, the leading data privacy management company. The findings from this research reveal the growing debate between the technological benefits of the Internet of Things versus the privacy implications of the personal data collected and who has the rights to own and access that data. As the Internet of Things will again be a main focus at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, questions over privacy and ownership of the data collected will remain important themes at the show.

“The Internet of Things market continues to gain traction as many consumers are embracing the convenience and benefits of connected devices,” said Chris Babel, CEO, TRUSTe. “However, privacy questions over the personal data being collected, including who has access and ownership of this data is still a major concern for consumers and a big question that the industry must address moving forward.”

“We look forward to tackling these issues at the 2nd annual Internet of Things Privacy Summit in June in Silicon Valley, and we welcome privacy and IoT experts from across the globe to attend, speak and join the discussion. We hope to work towards answering some of these questions and creating a plan of action for the industry as the IoT market continues to grow.”

Detailed findings from 2015 GB Internet of Things Privacy Index:

The research found that 80% of consumers are concerned about the idea of their personal data being collected through smart devices, while 73% believed they should own any such data being collected. More than 1 in 4 (26%) mentioned concerns about the security or privacy of the data collected as a reason why they did not currently own a smart device. Other reasons given were:


  • 43% did not see the point of owning a smart device
  • 41% thought smart devices were too expensive
  • 26% didn’t know enough about smart devices

When asked how concerned they were about specific privacy and security issues that smart devices connected to the internet can lead to, consumers showed strong concerns over the use and control of their personal data, with the highest concern being personal information collected and used in ways they were unaware (91%) followed by identity theft (88%), the concern that their device would be infected by malware (87%) and concern that their location might be revealed without their knowledge (81%).

To address the privacy concerns of the IoT era, TRUSTe held the first Internet of Things Privacy Summit in Silicon Valley last July, which provided a forum for privacy experts, policy makers and innovators around the world to come together and define the privacy needs of the increasingly connected world. In response to the success of the event, TRUSTe will host the 2nd annual IoT Privacy Summit on 18 June, 2015 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

IoT industry experts and privacy leaders who are interested in speaking at or sponsoring the summit should go to for further details.

About the research
Ipsos MORI undertook an online survey among a representative quota sample of 1,000 adults age 16-75 in Great Britain between 28th November and 5th December 2014. Survey data were weighted by age, gender, region, working status and social grade to known population proportions. Among the total sample, 575 participants reported that they did not currently own a smart device.

About TRUSTe

TRUSTe powers privacy compliance and trust by enabling businesses to use data across their customer, employee and vendor channels. We have nearly 20 years’ experience and a team of over 150 professionals dedicated to providing data privacy management solutions and services, including assessments, certifications and our SaaS-based Platform. The Data Privacy Management Platform provides control over all phases of privacy; from conducting assessments and implementing compliance controls to managing ongoing monitoring. Companies worldwide rely on TRUSTe to minimize compliance risk and protect their brand. For further information see

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