Consumers are holding off from buying Internet of Things (IoT)-connected devices because of security and privacy concerns, according to a new report.

A survey by Accenture found that 47 per cent of potential buyers rank security concerns and privacy risks among their top three barriers to purchasing IoT devices and services.

These devices include smartwatches, fitness monitors and smart home hardware. Of those who own or plan to buy an IoT device in 2016, more than three quarters are aware that the products are capable of being hacked and that data can be stolen.

37 per cent said they would be more cautious when using the devices, 24 per cent said they would postpone their purchase and 18 per cent quit using the devices until they are more secure.

“Despite all its promise, the Internet of Things market has revealed itself to be a double-edged sword,” said Sami Luukkonen, global managing director at Accenture Electronics and High Tech.

“The market opportunity is enormous, but security and ease-of-use concerns are hindering its near- and long-term potential. To ignite this market, consumer technology companies should consider getting serious about ecosystems, sharing data and creating integrated services across multiple companies, such as building a connected home through an integrated home security camera, thermostat and door lock.

“Furthermore, these companies need to consider investing more in innovative services and make consumers’ online lives more secure, convenient and enriching.

“Until the promise of IoT meets consumers’ expectations, the IoT market will remain more promise than profit and do little to reinvigorate the overall digital consumer market.”

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