U.S. consumers predict unprecedented connectivity in 2025, but security and privacy concerns linger
Date: Thu, 10/23/2014 - 11:08 Source: McAfee press department
Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee
Image credited to McAfee
McAfee, part of Intel Security, has released findings from its Safeguarding the Future of Digital America in 2025 study, which examines the thoughts and attitudes of more than 1,500 U.S. consumers about lifestyle and technology trends. The study provides insights into how technology impacts people’s homes, workplace, cars, wearables, mobile devices and how these technologies intersect with their online security and privacy.
U.S. consumers believe that in the coming decade, technology and devices will drastically improve the experience of managing their home. Nearly three out of five people plan to have been to a house that speaks or reads to them in 11 years. More than 60% think their refrigerator will automatically add food to a running grocery list if the product is running low. The majority of consumers (84%) are convinced their home security systems will be connected to their mobile device.
“As technology, especially the Internet of Things, continues to rapidly advance and increasingly connect our everyday lives, we understand consumers are concerned about how these changes will impact their safety and privacy,” said Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee. “With this study, we hope to shine a light on these matters and expectations so industry can best integrate new innovations with consumer’s online security and privacy in mind.”
Among other highlights, the research provides insight into how Americans view cybersecurity, wearables and their means of transportation in 2025.
According to the survey, 68% of Americans are concerned about what the state of cybersecurity will be 11 years from now. Nearly two-thirds of consumers (64%) stated identity theft, monetary theft and fraud as the biggest concerns. This is not surprising given the near-daily reports about retail and financing institutions being hacked. With new innovations arising every day to make consumers’ lives increasingly connected, Americans may feel hesitant in sharing personal information or adopting these technologies in fear of becoming a victim of a cybercrime.
The study also revealed that as many as 77% of consumers fear their families could fall victim to hackers over the next decade. Almost half (46%) believe their families will be affected by cyberbullies in 2025. With the number of social networking working sites and the people who frequent them growing, the likelihood of consumers experiencing negative encounters online increases.
“As concerns about security rise, we will likely shift in the ways in which we provide authentication,” said Ross Dawson, futurist and author. “This may include using unique biometric information, potentially including our fingerprints, faces, voices, eyes, or even thought waves.”
“People have just started to understand that their personal data is not some ethereal thing,” said Brian Johnson, Intel futurist. “They haven’t quite figured out what’s appropriate for others to know about that data. For instance, we don’t blurt out our credit card information when we walk into a room. Why would we want our data do that online?”
Seventy-seven percent of consumers think the most common device in 11 years will be a smart watch and 70% respondents believe overall wearable devices will be commonly used. Seventy-two percent of consumers anticipate connected kitchen appliances will be a household item.
“It’s clear that in 2025, consumers will be expecting more from their devices. The introduction of wearables and other artificial intelligence will help simplify our lives,” continued Davis. “While Americans look forward to more convenience, they also understand the importance of balancing this convenience with the need to feel safe.”
Tech in the Workplace
In the next decade, U.S. consumers anticipate seeing significant changes in their places of employment. While one in three (29%) of working consumers think they will be working from a home office, 60% envision artificial intelligence and robotics assisting with their job tasks. Sixty-nine percent believe they will be able to access work data through facial or voice recognition. While it is likely that greater precautions will be taken to ensure sensitive work information remains secure, robotics in the workplace may result in companies being more susceptible to cyber-related crimes.
“It is vital that Americans recognize that the world of work will be dramatically different within a decade, in changing workplaces, the role of robots, and the importance of online reputation,” said Dawson. “We will all need to be very careful to ensure that our online activities boost rather than detract from our professional reputations.”
Other key findings include:
Cover Your Digital Assets
• By 2025, 38% of U.S. consumers expect to unlock their mobile device by eye scan followed by a thumbprint. Almost all of respondents (90%) plan to put more effort into protecting their digital assets in the future after taking the survey.
Pay by Phone…or Fingerprint
• One in three consumers believes they will be able to pay for items using their fingerprint while 22% anticipate they will use their mobile device. More than a quarter of respondents (26%) plan to still pay by credit or debit card.
Green Means Go
• Thirty-five percent of people think Americans will get around by a hybrid vehicle or a self-driving car (26%) in 2025. More than 60% of consumers think there will be car models available in 2025 that will be completely autopilot.
Your App Will Know Best
• Seventy percent of consumers believe a wearable device will send health vitals directly to their physician, saving a visit to the doctor’s office. More than one in three (31%) people think there will be an online digital health check with sensors running over their bodies to relay signs of illness.
MSI Research conducted an online survey among 1,507 U.S. citizens ages 21 to 65. The survey was split evenly among age and gender. The interviews were conducted from August 1 - August 12, 2014.