A Multi-Region Investigation of the Perceptions and Use of Smart Home Devices

Authors: Patrick Bombik (Technical University of Munich), Tom Wenzel (Technical University of Munich), Jens Grossklags (Technical University of Munich), Sameer Patil (School of Computing, University of Utah)

Volume: 2022
Issue: 3
Pages: 6–32
DOI: https://doi.org/10.56553/popets-2022-0060

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Abstract: Smart Home Devices are household objects and appliances that are augmented with network connectivity and interactive capabilities. However, the benefits and conveniences of such augmentation are tempered by corresponding increases in privacy and security threats. Studies of user perceptions of these threats and user practices for addressing them are limited mostly to specific devices and/or small samples from a single region. To address this gap, we compared perceptions and practices of people in three geographic regions regarding privacy and security matters related to Smart Home Devices. Across these regions, we found differences in perceived regulatory protection and other regional factors. Our findings suggest that a co-evolution of the design and public policy related to Smart Home Devices could enhance privacy protection and drive increased adoption of these devices.

Keywords: smart home devices, privacy, security, regulation, regional differences, household

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