CES 2019: Brits Don't Trust Connected Devices, Says No-Duh BlackBerry Survey

By Holly Brockwell on at

A survey conducted by BlackBerry and unveiled at CES reveals what any of us could have guessed -- no one in the UK trusts the Internet of Things.

Despite that, almost half (42%) of people surveyed said they weren't willing to pay more for a more secure device, which gives you an idea of what connected manufacturers are up against.

The online survey polled just over 4,000 people from the UK, US and Canada. The UK results showed that:

  • 87% of UK consumers want some kind of seal of approval to show that a connected device is secure (which seems suspiciously high, especially given that BB's next press release was about its seal of approval for IoT security)
  • 76% of us think about how secure a product is before they buy it
  • 81% choose a company based on their reputation for security
  • 41% don't know what certifications to look for in a connected device
  • 58% are willing to pay more for a more secure device

That last one, as well as flagging up how many people aren't willing to pay more for security, included some supplementary stats: of the 58% who would cough up extra for better privacy tech, just 10% would pay up to 20% more, and "the majority preferred 10% or less." So even those willing to pay up for privacy don't want it to cost very much, even if their identity is at risk. Which is a fair bit more valuable than 10% of the cost of a gadget.

The survey was conducted in December and includes products like connected cameras, speakers, TVs, drones, health monitors and even cars.

Mark Wilson, Chief Marketing Officer at BlackBerry, comments:

"This survey shows there is a real opportunity for companies to differentiate their products by providing a higher level of security and data privacy.

Similar to the rise in demand for organic food and sustainable goods, we believe that educated consumers – many who have been victims of cyberattacks and uninvited use of personal data – will help drive the private and public sectors to align on a safety and security standard."

In a separate but clearly related press release, BlackBerry used these stats to promote its new licensing service for its BlackBerry Secure tech. Companies that take up the service will have a choice of three packages, and will have to send their products to BlackBerry to be assessed by security experts there before receiving the 'BlackBerry Secure' badge of honour.

Alex Thurber, SVP and General Manager of Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry, comments:

"2019 will be the year consumers will begin to vote with their wallets and seek out products that promise a higher level of security and data privacy. IoT device manufacturers can address security and privacy concerns head-on and stand out in the cluttered IoT space by bringing to market ultra-secure products that consumers, retailers, and enterprises want to buy and use.

This new service is a pivotal point in the company’s software licensing strategy and underscores BlackBerry’s evolution from providing the most secure smartphones to delivering the trusted security for all smart ‘things’."

While BlackBerry is well known for its security software in the tech industry, among consumers it's still very much associated with obsolete smartphones with keyboards. Would they take a BlackBerry logo seriously as a marker of security? Sounds like we're about to find out.