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Millennials, Ownership, and the Internet of Things

Millennials, Ownership, and IOT PrivacyMillennials are concerned, and rightly so, about connected devices and security. Nearly 75% of Millennials surveyed by KPMG indicated they would be likely to “use more IoT devices if they had more confidence that the devices were secure.” (Strother 2017) As developers of IoT devices consider the market viability of their devices, this creates a two-fold challenge. Not only must they develop more secure devices. Developers also need to convince Millennials that these devices are more secure, and worth adopting.

As digital natives, Millennials potentially have greater exposure and access to devices. As a result, this is one area Millennials can offer some insight and guidance to older generations. While Millennial use of IoT products is lower than other generations, one considerable factor is because they are not yet homeowners. (Strother 2017) Many of the developments in IoT devices are in smart home technology, which Millennials may just not need yet. Yet there are also other concerns, most notably IoT privacy.

The Millennial reaction to privacy concerns and adoption of IoT devices can lead the way in how other generations should view these devices. Perhaps because they are digital natives, they have a different understanding of ownership, and having control over your things continues to evolve in our digital world.

Those in Gen X and Baby Boomers were raised during times where the definition of ownership was simple. You bought something and it was yours. Today, however, we are more likely to rent access than own anything. And often times that access comes at the cost of the information collected by our devices. Today an individual’s private information is currency, one we often give up in exchange for the convenience of digital devices. Since IoT devices generate and pass a great deal of personal information, the cost of these devices can be high, paid in the currency of privacy. IoT privacy is a pressing concern.

So, how can one build and develop IoT devices that consider the new ideas of ownership and take into account growing privacy concerns?  There must be a fundamental understanding of how standardization will play a role in IoT privacy and ownership, as well as plans to evolve as quickly as technologies and questions arise.

Could your organization benefit from a more comprehensive understanding of the Internet of Things? IEEE offers courses to help businesses prepare through the online course program IEEE Guide to the Internet of Things.

 

References

Strother, N. (2017, March 24) IoT and Millennials. Forbes.

Michels, D. (2017, September 12) Today’s Property Rules Don’t Work in our IoT World. Network World.

 

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