Make us your home page
Instagram

Can you place a price on privacy?

Would you hand over information about when you're in your house — and in what rooms — for the promise of lower energy bills? That's one of the hypotheticals laid out in a new report from Pew Research Center, which found that more than half of the 461 adults it surveyed couldn't stomach the idea.

But thermostats collecting personal data is not a hypothetical. In fact, by 2017, more than half of the thermostats sold in the United States will be of the "smart" variety, according to market research firm Parks Associates.

In its latest report, Pew laid out a handful of different situations to help understand how people judge these tradeoffs.

Indeed, a recent Accenture study of 28,000 consumers in 28 countries found that security and privacy concerns are among the top reasons why people did not buy smart home and wearable products. Nearly half of respondents, 47 percent, cited this concern.

Another Pew scenario elicited a different response: If someone was stealing personal belongings from work, would it be okay if the company installed a camera system to catch the thief ? By a 2-to-1 ratio — 54 percent to 24 percent — respondents found that arrangement acceptable.

The focus groups suggested that some respondents may have been driven by thoughts about who ultimately gets to make the final call in that scenario, not the actual privacy stakes.

Can you place a price on privacy? 01/19/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 19, 2016 7:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Datz to open in St. Petersburg, join the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art

    Food & Dining

    Now Datz news.

    Get it? Tuesday, Datz, the longtime line-out-the-door, oft-Instagrammed and -Yelped Tampa stalwart known for shock-and-awe sandwiches and oh-so-much bacon, announced it is coming to St. Petersburg.

    Lunch guest eat at Datz Deli at 2616 South MacDill Ave. in Tampa. Times files.
  2. Equifax CEO Richard Smith steps down amid hacking scandal

    Personal Finance

    The chief executive of Equifax, the troubled credit reporting agency that suffered a massive data breach that affected as many as 143 million people, will retire, effective Tuesday, according to a statement by the company.

    Richard Smith, chief executive of Equifax, the troubled credit reporting agency that suffered a massive data breach that affected as many as 143 million people, will reportedly retire effective Tuesday.
[File photo: Joey Ivansco/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP]
  3. Bass Pro acquires Cabela's for $4 billion

    Retail

    Bass Pro Shops has acquired competitor Cabela's for a reported $4 billion. Bass Pro indicated it is seeking to appeal to all "outdoor enthusiasts" with the move, roping in hunting customers from Cabela's.

    Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela's for $4 billion, Bass Pro announced Tuesday. | [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  4. Tampa International named among least expensive airports

    News

    TAMPA — Florida airports apparently have a knack for getting it done cheaply.

    According to RewardExpert, Tampa International Airport is the fifth least expensive domestic airport. 
[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
 file photo]

  5. Tampa-based vXchnge secures $200M loan to expand operations

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Tampa-based vXchnge, which operates data centers in 14 metro areas, has secured a loan for roughly $200 million for "major expansions and enhancements."

    Tampa-based vXchnge, a data center provider, secured a $200 million loan. Pictured is CEO Keith Olsen. | [Courtesy of vXchnge]