Is in-home technology the fox among the chickens?

Britain’s homes are filled with connected devices, with the average household owning 7.4 of them (source: YouGov). But could we reach a point where technology progress becomes too intrusive? With the aim of being more culturally connected, we like to get our YourVoice Community respondents’ point of view on the hot news.

This week we asked them what they thought of this article in the Guardian introducing Glue, a Swedish start-up that created a door security system that allows people to open and lock doors with an app by sharing access codes with family neighbours or companies.

This enables trusted delivery services to enter a recipient’s home and, for example, for grocers to place the bought items directly in a consumer’s fridge.

There are two key aspects to this innovation: letting products being placed in consumers’ homes by a total stranger and enabling technology to become a safe lock.

In the first instance, it seems that very few people would feel comfortable with having a delivery person accessing their intimate space.

‘I would not trust someone letting themselves in and being alone in my house. Your house is your own personal space; you would not feel comfortable having a stranger entering it while I wasn’t there.’ Female, 18-34

‘I personally would feel uncomfortable giving a company access to my house while I’m not there.’ Male, 35-44

Secondly, it seems that opinions are balanced. The positive is the ability to access vulnerable people’s homes such as elderly people in case of problem or emergency.

‘I think that the idea of being able to give first responders access to a vulnerable person’s home could save lives’ Female, 55+

‘The principle of someone being able to gain access in an emergency would be good for terminally ill people or people with disabilities.’ Female, 31-45

However, there is still a lack of confidence in the security warranty of such technologies and this doesn’t differ by age.

I would be very concerned about more sophisticated criminals hacking into it which they will inevitably learn to do.’ Female, 35-44

 ‘I would be mainly worried about how safe this is and if people can hack into the system’ Female, 18-34

‘This is the next level of technology yet not acceptable, privacy at stake’ Male, 31-45

Trust in technology and fear of security issues is a key point beyond our community.

As Mintel’s research about connected homes shows, 54% of respondents believe that hackers could compromise the security of their homes in such an environment.

The same lack of trust is seen when using finance services (86% saying their financial data being hacked is their main concern when online) and paying using technology (only 36% say they are comfortable doing expensive purchases with their smartphone).

This lack of confidence usually correlates with the lack of understanding and usage of such technologies, therefore, companies need to ensure they explain processes and innovations clearly and reassure consumers about their reliability. It is also their responsibility to ensure they take all the steps to avoid breaches and provide consumers with clear explanations about how privacy measures work.

Great examples of this include Barclays’s Fraud Smart campaign to ensure users are informed about steps to undertake to avoid online fraud and Google’s campaign explaining to users how to use their search app.



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