China could lead the world in adoption of the Internet of Things and the connected home after a global survey found strong support for the emerging technologies.
Network security firm, Fortinet, has released the results of a global survey that probes home owners about key issues pertaining to the Internet of Things (IoT).
The survey: 'Internet of Things: Connected Home,' gives a global perspective about the Internet of Things, what security and privacy issues are in play, and what home owners are willing to do to enable it.
The survey was independently administered in eleven countries.
The report found a majority (61 per cent) of all respondents believed that the connected home - a home in which household appliances and home electronics are seamlessly connected to the Internet - is 'extremely likely' to become a reality in the next five years.
China led the world in this category with more than 84 per cent affirming support.
In Australia, 53 per cent said that the connected home was extremely likely to happen in the next five years.
Fortinet A/NZ director of engineering, Gary Gardiner, said the battle for the Internet of Things had just begun.
"According to industry research firm IDC, the IoT market is expected to hit $7.1 trillion by 2020," he said.
"The ultimate winners of the IoT connected home will come down to those vendors who can provide a balance of security and privacy vis-à-vis price and functionality."
However, homeowners are concerned about data breaches.
A majority of all respondents voiced their concern that a connected appliance could result in a data breach or exposure of sensitive, personal information.
Globally, 69 per cent said that they were either "extremely concerned" or "somewhat concerned" about this issue.
Sixty-five percent of Australian respondents said that they were "extremely concerned" or "somewhat concerned."
When asked about the privacy of collected data, a majority of global respondents stated, "privacy is important to me, and I do not trust how this type of data may be used."
India led the world with this response at 63 per cent.
Sixty per cent in Australia also agreed with this statement.
Respondents were also asked how they would feel if a connected home device was secretly or anonymously collecting information about them and sharing it with others.
Most (62 per cent) answered "completely violated and extremely angry to the point where I would take action."
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The strongest responses came from South Africa, Malaysia and the United States.
Sixty per cent of Australians also agreed with this statement.
Users are demanding control over who can access collected data, according to the survey.
When asked who should have access to the data collected by a connected home appliance, 66 per cent stated that only themselves or those to whom they give permission should have this information.
Sixty-six per cent of those in Australia wanted personal control over collected data.
Around one-fifth of Australians felt that either the device manufacturer or their ISP should have access to the collected data.
Gardiner said the Internet of Things promised many benefits to end-users, but also presents grave security and data privacy challenges.
"Crossing these hurdles will require clever application of various security technologies, including remote connection authentication, virtual private networks between end-users and their connected homes, malware and botnet protection, and application security applied on premises, in the Cloud and as an integrated solution by device manufacturers."
The survey found consumers look to their government for data regulation with many respondents (42 per cent) around the world stated that their government should regulate collected data.
However, 11 per cent said that regulation should be enforced by an independent, non-government organization.
Here, 42 per cent agreed that the government should regulate collected data.
If a vulnerability was discovered in a connected home device, 48 per cent of all surveyed agreed that the device manufacturer is responsible for updating/patching their device.
However, nearly 31 per cent responded with "as a homeowner, it is my responsibility to make sure that the device is up to date."
Australians responded similarly with 43 per cent putting the responsibility on the device manufacturer.
The report has identifies a clear schism which has appeared with regard to how connected home devices should be secured.
In nearly equal proportion were those who replied, "a home router should provide protection," versus those who said, "my internet provider should provide protection."
Australia was similar to the rest of the world, having nearly a 40-60 split for home router and Internet provider, respectively.
Although homeowners report a willingness to pay more to enable their connected home, when asked what factors impact their buying decisions of connected home devices, the number one answer that was consistent in all countries was price, followed by features/functionality and then manufacturer brand.
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