More than half of Canadian consumers – 55 per cent – might be willing to share personal data collected from IoT devices if companies paid for it, while 71 per cent believe they should receive coupons and discounts in exchange for usage data, according to a global survey sponsored by Intel Security Group and released today by the Atlantic Council.

However, that willingness is compromised by security concerns: though 77 per cent of respondents said they believe smart homes will be as common in 2025 as smartphones are today, the survey also found that 66 per cent feared their home’s data could be hacked by cybercriminals.

“Smart homes have the potential to provide for consumers’ growing expectations of convenience, sustainable living, safety, and security,” authors Greg Lindsay, Beau Woods, and Joshua Corman wrote in the report, “Smart Homes and the Internet of Things”. “Attaining these desired benefits, however, means these systems must deliver on consumer expectations.”

Globally, 70 per cent of respondents believed that companies should give customers coupons and discounts in return for usage data, while 60 per cent said they would give a company access to their smart home habits if they were paid.

Nearly every respondent – 92 per cent – also worried that if they lived in a smart home, cybercriminals would hack their personal data; and when asked how they would like to ensure their own access, passwords received a clear thumbs down, with 75 per cent of respondents saying they were at least “somewhat anxious” about the number of passwords they would need to memorize to use a smart home. Biometrics were a popular alternative: given a choice, 54 per cent opted for fingerprints, 46 per cent for voice recognition, and 42 per cent for eye scans.

The survey was conducted last July by technology market researcher Vanson Bourne, and involved 9000 individuals in nine countries, including 2500 from the U.S., 1000 from the U.K., 1000 from India, and 500 from Canada.

In a statement, Intel Security’s chief technology officer, Steve Grobman, said that while the survey highlights the comfort many individuals have with sharing smart home data, it also illustrates the need for companies to make security the foundation of IoT.

Formerly McAfee, Inc., the Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel Security has restructured itself as the security arm of Intel Corp., which purchased McAfee in 2011.

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