A current study shows that data protection in terms of Smart Home is much more important to the citizens of Germany than to other Europeans. This also influences the use of, for example, smart language assistants such as Alex, networked door or TV cameras.
Santa Monica (United States). Data protection and privacy are particularly valued in Germany for deep-rooted historical reasons. This appreciation is also reflected in the use of smart home devices, according to a study by Amazon’s Ring. The study found that, compared to other Europeans, Germans place a greater focus on how their data is protected in the smart home .
According to an international survey by Ring, an estimated 88 percent of Germans actively use the data protection functions of their smart home devices. This means that the German participants in the study have become significantly more vigilant compared to 2021, when only 42 percent of them used these functions. In a European comparison, Germany even takes the top spot, ahead of France (85 percent) and the Netherlands (83 percent). Great Britain, on the other hand, lags far behind with 67 percent. Over a third of Germans have activated all or most of the protective functions.
Users see improvement options in privacy settings
Knowledge of security settings and privacy features on smart home devices has actually increased. More than half of those surveyed state that they understand and use them better today than they did two years ago. 56 percent even feel completely competent in dealing with the setting options of their devices. Nevertheless, almost two-thirds of those surveyed still see potential for improvement. However, it should be noted that the setting options are different for each smart home product supplier.
Hacking and Data Leaks
According to a study by Ring, 38 percent of the Germans surveyed had already had their email accounts hacked, compromised passwords or unauthorized data transfer. This was even the case several times for every fifth participant. In a European comparison, Germany is at the top, followed by France (33 percent), the Netherlands (31 percent) and Great Britain (24 percent).
It’s worth noting, however, that Ring’s study indicates that respondents said they were most responsible for privacy. It is important to emphasize that both users, companies and manufacturers of smart home devices have a responsibility to ensure the data security and privacy of their customers.
Is data protection a responsibility of the user of smart home devices?
According to a Ring survey, 61 percent of respondents believe they are responsible for the security and privacy of the smart home devices they purchase for their household. This compares to just 49 percent saying so in 2021. Manufacturers are named as the second most responsible (44 percent), followed by dealers (19 percent). “This shows a growing awareness of the responsibility for one’s data security and privacy when using smart home devices,” said Ring.
The study was conducted by market research company Censuswide on behalf of Ring. The survey took place between December 19, 2022 and January 9, 2023 and included a total of 5,116 participants from Germany (1,006 participants), France, Great Britain and the Netherlands.