The Impact of Consumer Privacy Behavior on the Purchase Decision Process of Smart Home Internet of Things (IoT) Devices
Ebenezer, Mercy Elizabeth Devakirubai
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Privacy issues in smart home Internet of Things (IoT) devices remain unresolved despite its fast growth in the technological and business front. Notwithstanding federal institutions’ initiatives to increase consumer awareness and business accountability towards privacy violations, there is a dearth of corrective measures that fix the privacy issues in smart home IoT devices. The lack of simple privacy protection measures in smart home IoT devices is the primary reason for consumers to overlook the institutions’ privacy awareness initiatives. As a result, privacy is traded off for convenience and this reflects in the choices consumers make during their purchase decision process. In this exploratory study, I have performed in-depth analysis of consumer behavior towards adopting privacy protection measures for smart home IoT devices during the purchase decision process. Three privacy protection measures have been stated and a consumer’s attitude towards these three measures is evaluated. Qualitative research methods are a useful instrument in this evaluation. First, content analysis on customer reviews was performed to understand the main factors that influence a purchase decision process. The customer reviews were collected from Amazon’s best sellers in the “smart home” category for the top 10 smart home IoT devices. Second, qualitative data analysis of interviews with study participants provided extensive insight into possible factors that affect a consumer’s privacy protection behavior during the purchase decision process. Lack of time, effort, and resources to adopt privacy behavior were the factors observed during the data analysis process. In conclusion, the study informs on the significance and impact of privacy behavior on the purchase decision process and proposes disruptive innovation to attain sustainable business growth in smart home IoT devices.