NEWS29 August 2017

Data protection fears biggest barrier to use of voice assistants

News Technology Trends UK

UK – New research has revealed fears around data protection and questions over purpose and relevance to be the biggest barriers to adoption of voice assistants among UK consumers.

Amazon Echo

The research, from media agency the7stars, showed that just 29% of British consumers would like to own one of these devices – such as Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home –in the future. 

Data protection was highlighted as one of their biggest concerns, with an average of 61% of consumers saying they were reluctant to hand companies such as Google and Amazon more data than they currently hold. 

The survey also found that 43% of consumers expressed concern that voice assistants could be used to listen in on their conversations. This figure rose to 49% among Londoners. 

People were also not clear on the purpose and potential of the technology, with 40% saying they were yet to understand the benefits, 50% not thinking it would be of use and 42% labelling it as a gimmick.

Younger consumers and higher earners were more likely to want to own a voice assistant device. 

“Voice assistants present a fresh opportunity for brands to connect with consumers, and there’s exciting potential for this technology as a platform for advertisers," said Frances Revel of the7stars.

"However, the research shows that mainstream scepticism remains over their value and how they are using consumer data, so there is work to be done to break down these barriers for this exciting new technology.”