Consumer Anxiety About Data, Device and Online Service Security Has No Impact on Purchase Decisions: Parks Associates

Although an overwhelming majority of consumers are very concerned about the security of their personal data, smart devices and online services, that anxiety has no impact on purchase decisions, new research from Parks Associates reveals.

Even as retailers gear up for record sales of connected devices, "Consumer Fears in Connected Entertainment"  finds that 77 percent of U.S. broadband households are very concerned about someone hacking their online service. Additionally, 75 percent worry about their computer being hacked, and 66 percent are concerned about their smart TV or streaming media player being compromised.

The report also finds that security fears are not having much of an impact on device purchasing, as levels of concern are virtually identical between those planning to purchase a consumer electronics (CE) device and those not intending to purchase.

“Consumer concerns about sharing data have virtually no impact on device ownership and purchase decisions,” said Craig Leslie, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates. “On average, consumers concerned with personal information security actually own more connected devices -- almost nine on average -- than consumers without concerns, who have an average of eight."

Leslie noted, however, that continued high-profile data breaches or privacy violations could reverse this trend, "so device and content companies need to work now to develop or strengthen trust with their consumers.”

As a result, consumers are far more likely to share their data if they are confident in its security, which naturally biases them toward more traditional and more established vendor types.

“Consumers are moving forward with purchases despite their concerns, which may indicate a lack of choice or resignation more than consumer preference,” Leslie said. “Companies in this space can differentiate their solutions by offering more user control options, clearer explanation of data usage, and promotion of security features ignored by other vendors. Giving consumers control over their data will build trust among users who increasingly feel powerless.”  

For more information about Parks Associates’ research visit

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