Survey: 73% US fear smart devices spy on them
June 30, 2022
A survey from Mortgage Cadence shows Americans love smart tech, but also have concerns about privacy and security.
Just how prevalent is smart technology in American homes? In a survey of 900 individuals, 94 per cent of Americans say they have at least one smart device in their home right now, and 1 in 5 have over seven different smart devices.
The most common smart devices Americans have are smart TVs (69 per cent), smart speakers (45 per cent), lights (32 per cent), doorbells (29 per cent), and smart thermostats (25 per cent). Also, 3 in 5 use a ‘hub’ on their phone or tablet to control their home tech.
When it comes to a favourite voice assistant, the majority of Americans (55 per cent) use Amazon’s Alexa. The next most popular assistant is Apple’s Siri, followed by Google Nest and Microsoft’s Cortana. More than one-quarter of Americans (27 per cent) use a voice assistant to control their smart tech at home.
Buying a smart version of appliances or devices doesn’t come cheap. On average, Americans have spent $1,172 on smart tech, but they’re willing to spend an average of $2,475. The most desired smart tech devices are lights, followed by security cameras, smart thermostats, doorbells and blinds.
Why invest in these modern devices? The top reasons include safety and security, the ability to control the home from afar, and the convenience that comes with smart tech.
Despite the convenience, these devices can malfunction like any piece of tech. In fact, 40 per cent say they’ve contacted customer service about their devices at least once. Security cameras are the most common device that requires assistance from customer service, followed by smart TVs.
Although Americans want smart tech in their home for safety and security, having the devices is also cause for concern. Nearly 3 in 4 are concerned about their home devices eavesdropping on them. Americans are also concerned about privacy, security, data collection by companies, and hacking.
Which smart tech device are Americans most concerned about? Some 62 per cent are concerned about their cameras being hacked, followed by Alexa assistants (34 per cent), and locks (23 per cent). Even though 45 per cent feel safer because of their smart tech, 41 per cent use their cameras to check on their home when no one is there.
For respondents with smart cameras and doorbells, some of the things they’ve captured on camera include burglary and packages being stolen outside their homes.
Despite the frustrations and concerns, 60 per cent say smart tech has made a positive impact in their life; In fact, 2 in 5 Americans would never go back to living in a home without smart tech present. When asked which devices they simply couldn’t live without, 27 per cent say security cameras, 22 per cent say smart TVs, 14 per cent say doorbells, 13 per cent say lights, and 12 per cent say their sound system.
Survey respondents say smart tech makes tedious chores that little bit easier. 39 per cent believe smart vacuums keep the home cleaner than human-handled ones, 50 per cent think smart kitchen appliances make it easier to make meals, and 36 per cent say they help you eat healthier.
Smart tech exists to make life easier, but 3 in 4 Americans think some devices are unnecessary. The most unnecessary smart appliances are toasters (59 per cent), toilets (52 per cent), grills (49 per cent), refrigerators (34 per cent), and workout equipment (25 per cent).