Press release

Concerns Over Privacy and Security Contribute to Consumer Distrust in Connected Devices

Sponsored by Businesswire

The work of a diverse group of Canadians could offer a solution to
consumer concerns highlighted in a
newly published survey about the privacy and security of connected

The survey, conducted in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia,
France, and the United Kingdom by IPSOS Mori on behalf of the Internet
Society and Consumers International, found that 65% of consumers are
concerned with the way connected devices collect data. More than half
(55%) do not trust their connected devices1 to protect their
privacy and a similar proportion (53%) do not trust connected devices to
handle their information responsibly.

In Canada, 69% of those surveyed said connected devices are “creepy” in
the way they collect data about people and their behaviours. The
Internet Society and Consumers International survey reveals that most
Canadians believe manufacturers (88%) and retailers (85%) should ensure
good privacy and security standards.

Recognizing that everyone should play a role in securing our connected
future, the Internet Society convened a collaborative project in April
2018 to develop a broad-reaching policy on IoT security. They partnered
with the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development
Canada (ISED), Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), Canadian
Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) and CANARIE to serve
as the oversight committee.

The result was recommendations on network resilience, device labeling,
and consumer education that came from more than 100 participants across

“The Canadian Multistakeholder Process to enhance Internet of Things
security shows Canada’s leadership in developing digital solutions in a
way that fits naturally with the Internet,” says Mark Buell, North
America Regional Bureau Director for the Internet Society. “By using the
collaborative way the Internet works, Canada is better prepared to make
sure security and innovation are the foundation of our connected
future,” he added.

This collaborative process will be carried forward by the newly formed
IoT Security Implementation Working Group.

The success of the Canadian Multistakeholder Process is already gaining
worldwide attention. The Internet Society has already begun working on
similar initiatives with government representatives in France and
Senegal to facilitate similar collaborative models to improve IoT

More results from the IoT survey in Canada show:

  • 77% think people using connected devices should be concerned about
    their data being used without their permission
  • 75% of consumers using connected devices should worry about the risk
    of “eavesdropping” (devices are being accessed without knowledge or
  • 80% of consumers are generally aware of security features in their
    connected devices and consider information about privacy and security
    important for their buying decisions.

An infographic with the survey highlights can be downloaded at:

Notes to Editors

In 2018, the Internet Society and Consumers International formed a
working partnership aimed at creating a safer, more trusted Internet for
everyone. The organizations collaborate on a wide range of initiatives
engaging consumers, governments, regulators, and businesses on the
importance of secure and trusted consumer IoT devices. For tips and
information on what consumers can do to protect themselves, please

About the Internet Society

Founded by Internet pioneers, the Internet Society is a non-profit
organization dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution and
use of the Internet. Working through a global community of chapters and
members, the Internet Society collaborates with a broad range of groups
to promote the technologies that keep the Internet safe and secure, and
advocates for policies that enable universal access. The Internet
Society is also the organizational home of the Internet Engineering Task
Force (IETF).

About the Survey

1. Interviews were conducted online by Ipsos MORI among a representative
quota sample in six countries (1000 adults aged 18-65 in Australia, 1072
adults aged 18-75 in Canada, 1094 adults aged 16-75 in France, 1000
adults aged 18-65 in Japan, 1130 adults aged 16-75 in the UK, and 1085
adults aged 18-75 in USA). The data was collected between 1st
March and 6th March 2019 and have been weighted to the known
profile of the respective population.

2. The ‘overall’ figures quoted are derived from aggregating the
percentages for each market, weighted by population numbers in the
respective countries. The number for any specific market may be higher
or lower than the total percentage.

3. Full question wording for each of the questions referred to in this
release is given in the accompanying “topline” results document.

4. The survey was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Consumers
International and the Internet Society.

1 For this research, we defined smart devices as everyday
products and devices that can connect to the Internet using Wi-Fi or
Bluetooth, such as smart meters, fitness monitors, connected toys, home
assistants, or gaming consoles. The definition excluded tablets, mobile
phones, and laptops.