Are Consumers Willing to Pay for Security and Privacy of IoT Devices?


Internet of Things (IoT) device manufacturers provide little information to consumers about their security and data handling practices. Therefore, IoT consumers cannot make informed purchase choices around security and privacy. While prior research has found that consumers would likely consider security and privacy when purchasing IoT devices, past work lacks empirical evidence as to whether they would actually pay more to purchase devices with enhanced security and privacy. To fill this gap, we conducted a two-phase incentivecompatible online study with 180 Prolific participants. We measured the impact of five security and privacy factors (e.g., access control) on participants’ purchase behaviors when presented individually or together on an IoT label. Participants were willing to pay a significant premium for devices with better security and privacy practices. The biggest price differential we found was for de-identified rather than identifiable cloud storage. Mainly due to its usability challenges, the least valuable improvement for participants was to have multi-factor authentication as opposed to passwords. Based on our findings, we provide recommendations on creating more effective IoT security and privacy labeling programs.