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Survey: Consumers Want Smart Home Security That Doesn’t Invade Privacy

People want smart home security systems that allow them to deter unwanted visitors and keep an eye on loved ones, but without having to incorporate complicated new technology in lives or be made to feel that companies are encroaching on their personal space and data. That’s the main message from Ooma’s recent survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers, which was designed to understand the nation’s comfort levels with next-generation smart home technology, and what people really want a smart home system for.

home security survey

Consumers have a clear cut-off point for when technology crosses from convenient – such as being alerted to smoke in their home or being able to keep an eye on their pets or children – to uncomfortable.

So, What Concerns Consumers? Privacy, Drones, In-Home Deliveries & Robot Dogs

The possibility in the future of home security drones and the present-day push by companies using internet-connected locks to access the home for deliveries are high on the list of technology advances that the U.S. population labels as too invasive.

87% of people said they feel uncomfortable about companies wanting to deliver parcels inside their homes and 88% feel negatively about delivery companies using data collected about them to work out when they are likely to be at home. 88% are creeped out by the future possibility of home security drones hovering outside their homes to detect unwanted movement.

Robotic guard dogs that ward off intruders, another future possibility (yikes!), and face recognition to authorize device actions in the smart home, are two more of the advances in smart home technology on the list that respondents feel negatively about.

Another major concern is the misuse of personal data. 72% of people with home security worry that companies will use smart home advances to invade their privacy.

It seems people don’t want others to think they’re being monitored through their smart home system either. Almost a quarter (23%) of respondents said they turn off their system when visitors are at their home so they don’t feel spied on.

What Pleases Consumers? Security and Remote Monitoring of Children & Pets

The survey found consumers primarily want to use smart home technology for security. That means to deter burglars (47%), monitor what’s happening outside and inside their homes when they’re away (43%) and detect unexpected motion on their home’s windows or doors (42%).

People also like to use their smart home system to check in on the people they care about with 27% noting that they use their smart home system to regularly check in on their children and / or pets while they’re away.

But most people don’t want to use their smart home technology to spy on others. Only 18% of people admitted to keeping an eye on regular in-house workers, such as a cleaner, nanny or dog walker, through their smart home system, and just 15% check in on irregular in-house workers such as a builder, plumber or other contractor.

Consumers also find peace of mind from the ability to use smart home technology to detect smoke in their home (41%) and call 911 remotely from their mobile phone if their home security is compromised (38%).

Here at Ooma, we’re working to put these ideas into practice with Ooma Home, a low-cost, effective smart home security system designed to give you the peace of mind you deserve. Ooma Home allows you to monitor what’s happening in and around your home and take decisive action in the event of an emergency, through the 911 button in the Ooma Home Security app that can dial 911 as if you were calling from your home phone and using your home address. With devices from motion sensors and smart smoke detectors to a smart video camera, Ooma Home allows you to customize your setup to meet your needs and ensure the ultimate protection for your household.

We’d love to hear from you – tell us how you feel about next-generation smart home technology!

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Jim Gustke

Jim Gustke is a marketing and Internet veteran with a wealth of experience at the intersection of consumer and technology marketing. As Vice President of Marketing for Intuit, he helped lead the reinvention of Quicken and launch the first SaaS version of the popular personal finance software. Prior to Intuit, Mr. Gustke was responsible for business unit management, global branding and product marketing at Lexar Media, helping grow the flash memory company to over $850 million before its acquisition by Micron Technology. He also served as the founding Vice President of Marketing for Ofoto, an online photography service, acquired by Eastman Kodak in 2001. A pioneer in Internet marketing, he joined America Online in 1996 as the marketing leader for GNN, the company’s first Internet Service Provider, and in 1995 as a marketing manager at Polaroid Corporation he led the team that launched the company’s first corporate web site.

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