Tell Me What Smart Devices Do You Have, And I Will Tell You Who You Are

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We are about to wake up to a new world: the world of the Internet of Things (IoT). Currently, there are 13 billion IoT devices on the planet, and this number is projected to swell to an estimated 30 billion by 2025. Undoubtedly, IoT enhances quality of life and promotes independent living. However, to facilitate the adoption and implementation of smart devices, it is important to understand users’ perspectives and experiences. This thesis seeks to deepen our understanding of users’ perceptions of privacy and security regarding smart-home IoT devices. We conducted a quantitative study to understand the phenomenon of privacy and security in the context of a smart home. To this end, we designed and published an online survey, which was completed by 228 anonymous respondents. The survey targeted residents of the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, and the information obtained was processed using statistical and thematic analyses. The results indicated a relationship between culture and users’ privacy concerns. Furthermore, we found that users are aware of the potential for privacy invasion. However,atrustinIoTprovidersandthenotionthattheyareprotectedbydomestic laws result in them discounting this potential and ignoring any initial concerns they might have had. We finally present recommendations for smart device providers, service providers and the public.