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Privacy Options Don’t Boost Trust in Voice Assistants

According to new research, giving users the option of adjusting privacy settings on voice assistants like Alexa does not ensure that consumers will increase their trust in the technology. A new study proves that it may even have an unfavorable effect. Researchers found that trust in Amazon Alexa went up for regular users who were given the option to adjust privacy and content settings. However, the data also shows that so-called “power individuals,” or those whose skills and expertise are considered more advanced than others, showed a decrease in trust when they were given the same options.

Although this seems counterintuitive, experts state that the presence of privacy settings may trigger thoughts of potential privacy problems in individuals who hold a higher awareness of such loopholes in these technologies. Once it is apparent that the privacy settings are controllable, users tend to worry about security risks rather than see it as an effort to provide higher user control. Another finding of the same study concludes that those who were sensitive about their privacy found content less credible when allowed the option to customize privacy settings.

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