Canadians anticipate a more connected world in 2025, but have concerns about security and privacy

New McAfee study reveals consumers' thoughts on future technology and trends

MARKHAM, ON, Sept. 16, 2014 /CNW/ - McAfee Canada, part of Intel Security, today released findings from its first Safeguarding the Future of Digital Canada in 2025 study, which examines the thoughts and attitudes of more than 500 Canadian consumers concerning technology trends. The study looks at how technology relates to people's homes, workplace, cars, mobile devices and online security.

Canadian consumers believe that technology will significantly change their lifestyle by 2025. For example, 51 percent of Canadians believe their houses will be able to speak to them, 70 per cent anticipate using solar panels as their main source of energy and 56 per cent predict there will be cars that navigate completely on autopilot.

While new innovations will make consumers' lives more connected than ever, Canadians may feel hesitant in sharing personal information or adapting to these technologies in fear of their privacy being jeopardized. Sixty-six per cent of Canadians expressed concern over the expected state of cyber security in 2025.

"Canadians know that as technology advances, more of their everyday devices will be connected to the Internet," said Brenda Moretto, Canadian consumer manager at McAfee. "While they believe this will simplify some aspects of their lives, they're also concerned about how their security and privacy will be protected. We are hoping this study will raise awareness of these concerns and ensure privacy is taken into consideration in future innovations."

The report was compiled to provide a view into technology trends and what society can expect over the next decade. Highlights from the study give insight on how Canadians will view cybersecurity, how their homes will be connected and how they'll work.

Cybersecurity
The study revealed consumers are not confident that their cybersecurity will be protected in the coming years. This is not surprising given the near-daily reports about retail and financial institutions being hacked. Seventy-seven per cent of Canadians are concerned their families could fall victim to hackers, while almost half (46 per cent) believe their families will be affected by cyberbullies in 2025.

"People have just started to understand that their personal data is not some ethereal thing," said Brian Johnson, Intel futurist. "They haven't quite figured out what's appropriate for others to know about that data. For instance, we don't blurt out our credit card information when we walk into a room. Why would we want our data do that online?"

Wearables
Seventy-seven per cent of consumers think smart watches will be a common device in 11 years.  Sixty per cent anticipate connected kitchen appliances will be a household item, while only 39 per cent think a PC desktop will be common in 2025. 

Tech at the Workplace
In the next decade, Canadian consumers anticipate seeing significant changes in their offices or places of employment. While one in three (31 per cent) working consumers think they will be working from a home office, 60 per cent envision artificial intelligence and robotics assisting with their job tasks. Fifty-nine per cent believe they will be able to access work data through facial or voice recognition. While greater precautions will be taken to ensure sensitive work information remains secure, robotics in the workplace may result in companies being more susceptible to cyber-related crimes.

Connected Homes
Canadian consumers expect to have technology that makes the home experience easier. More than 60 per cent think their refrigerator will automatically add food to a running grocery list if the product is running low. More than 50 per cent of people plan to have been to a house that speaks or reads to them. The majority of consumers believe home security will be connected to their mobile device in 11 years.

Other key findings include:

  • Green Means Go
    Thirty-nine per cent of people think Canadians will get around by a hybrid vehicle or a self-driving car (20 per cent) in 2025.

Pay by Phone… or Fingerprint

  • Nearly one quarter (24 per cent) of consumers believe they will be able to pay for items using their fingerprint while 24 per cent anticipate they will use their mobile device. Twenty-three per cent of respondents plan to still pay by credit or debit card.

Your App Will Know Best

  • Sixty-four per cent of consumers believe a wearable device will send health vitals directly to their physician, saving a visit to the doctor's office.  Nearly one in three (29 per cent) people think there will be an online digital health check with sensors running over their bodies to relay signs of illness.

Cover Your Digital Assets

  • By 2025, 34 per cent of Canadian consumers expect to unlock their mobile device by a thumbprint, while 32 per cent believe eye scans will be used. Almost all respondents (89 per cent) plan to put more effort into protecting their digital assets in the future after taking the survey.

To learn more, please visit:

Quantitative Methodology
MSI conducted a survey among 504 Canadian citizens ages 21 to 65. The interviews were conducted from August 1, 2014 thru August 12, 2014.

About McAfee

McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), empowers businesses, the public sector and home users to safely experience the benefits of the Internet. The company delivers proactive and proven security solutions and services for systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world. With its Security Connected strategy, innovative approach to hardware-enhanced security, and unique Global Threat Intelligence network, McAfee is relentlessly focused on keeping its customers safe. http://www.mcafee.com.

McAfee Canada is headquartered in Markham, Ontario, with regional offices across Canada. The company's Consumer Software Research and Development facility is based in Waterloo, Ontario.

Note: McAfee is a registered trademark of McAfee, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

McAfee Canada maintains a website called "The State of Consumer and Enterprise Security in Canada" (http://mcaf.ee/canadastats) in order to provide a one-stop shop for writers looking for information on a variety of trends and issues affecting and shaping the Canadian security landscape. Feel free to check out the McAfee Canada resource site for security information, statistics, story ideas, and access to published McAfee surveys and studies.

Image with caption: "Canadian consumers believe that technology will significantly change their lifestyle by 2025, but may feel hesitant in adapting to these technologies in fear of their privacy being jeopardized. (CNW Group/McAfee, Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140916_C2846_PHOTO_EN_5626.jpg

SOURCE: McAfee, Inc.

For further information: Mike Martin / Ryan Patrick, StrategicAmpersand Inc. (for McAfee Canada), mike@stratamp.com, ryan@stratamp.com, 416-961-5595

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