Security and Privacy Awareness in Smart Environments--A Cross-Country Investigation

Oksana Kulyk, Benjamin Reinheimer, Lukas Aldag, Peter Mayer, Nina Gerber, Melanie Volkamer

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Smart environments are becoming ubiquitous despite many potential security and privacy issues. But, do people understand what consequences could arise from using smart environments? To answer this research question, we conducted a survey with 575 participants from three different countries (Germany, Spain, Romania) considering smart home and health environments. Less than half of all participants mentioned at least one security and privacy issue, with significantly more German participants mentioning issues than the Spanish ones and the Spanish participants in turn mentioning significantly more security and privacy issues than the Romanian participants. Using open coding, we find that among the 275 participants mentioning security and privacy issues, 111 only expressed abstract concerns such as “security issues” and only 34 mentioned concrete harms such as “Burglaries (physical and privacy)”, caused by security and privacy violations. The remaining 130 participants who mentioned security and privacy issues named only threats (i.e. their responses were more concrete than just abstract concerns but they did not mention concrete harming scenarios).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security
Number of pages18
Publication date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventFinancial Cryptography and Data Security Workshop on Usable Security (AsiaUSEC) -
Duration: 14 Feb 202014 Feb 2020


ConferenceFinancial Cryptography and Data Security Workshop on Usable Security (AsiaUSEC)
SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science


  • Smart environments
  • Security and privacy issues
  • User awareness
  • Cross-country comparison
  • Open coding analysis


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