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Research Report: User Perceptions of Smart Home Privacy and Security



Julie M. Haney, Susanne M. Furman, Yasemin Acar


Smart home technologies may expose adopters to increased risk to network security, information privacy, and physical safety. However, users may lack understanding of the privacy and security implications, while devices fail to provide transparency and configuration options. This results in little meaningful mitigation action to protect users' security and privacy. To better understand users' perceptions of smart home privacy and security, we conducted an in- depth interview study of 40 smart home users. The results revealed perceptions of data collection and use and privacy and security concerns, and mitigations employed to alleviate concerns. Although users may have concerns, many participants displayed a willingness to accept risks in favor of smart home benefits, and they feel limited responsibility for mitigating these due to constrained options or lack of knowledge to enact more sophisticated countermeasures. Based on the findings, we also provide suggestions for manufacturers and third parties about how they might empower users to take protective actions for their smart home devices.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 8330
Report Number


cybersecurity, internet of things, privacy, smart home, usability


Haney, J. , Furman, S. and Acar, Y. (2020), Research Report: User Perceptions of Smart Home Privacy and Security, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 15, 2024)


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Created November 16, 2020, Updated November 17, 2020