Hub Study Shows Voice Control Is Prevalent – And So Are Concerns About Privacy

Privacy appears to still be a major issue for users of voice control, according to “The Case for Voice Control”, a study from Hub.

Some highlights:
1. Despite their concerns, about three quarters of smart speaker owners use their smart speaker to search for media content. About two thirds of smart speaker owners use their device to control playback of media on the device itself or on other devices to which it is connected. 
2. Concerns about privacy and security are a significant roadblock to both wider use of voice control for sensitive topics and ownership of smart speakers. Among those who don’t yet have a smart speaker and don’t intend to buy one, two thirds (66%) say that privacy concerns are an important reason for not buying. Among existing users, 59% of those who regularly use voice control have concerns about privacy. And almost all users of voice control with privacy concerns cite worries about unwanted listening by speakers (91%) and concerns about what data is being collected about users (90%).
3. Voice command technology is already familiar to mainstream consumers – 80% of consumers say they’ve used voice command technology at some point. Among younger consumers age 16-35 it’s even higher (88% ever used).

“This new report shows just how pervasive voice control is, and how quickly consumers have embraced it, even if they have major privacy concerns,” says David Tice, senior consultant to Hub and co-author of the study.  “These privacy issues may be a key reason why ‘retail’ uses (e.g., shopping, financial) lag well behind other activities like entertainment on smart speakers.”

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