Most users of smart-home technology are happy with their choice. But when asked whether they felt more secure, they’re split down the middle, according to a new Mortgage Cadence survey.

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The vast majority of people with smart tech in their homes have misgivings about whether these devices are being used to spy on them.

Still, nearly half say they couldn’t imagine going back.

This emerging struggle between convenience and privacy was on full display in the results of a recent Mortgage Cadence survey of 909 Americans with internet-enabled devices in their homes.

Nearly 3 in 4 survey respondents said they have concerns about the information these smart-tech devices were gathering on them, even as a majority believe these tools make their lives easier.

Smart technology is now embedded in a host of home devices ranging from TVs and refrigerators to security systems and doorbells. 

The vast majority of Americans have at least one such smart device in their home, and 1 in 5 have seven devices or more, the survey suggests.

In some cases, the companies behind these products are able to collect data from a family and use it for marketing purposes, such as targeted advertising. In others, a home device could be hacked by an outside party, compromising a family’s privacy and possibly security.

Owners of these devices generally hold these concerns, the survey found. Just over 60 percent of respondents said they feared their security camera could get hacked. Roughly 23 percent said the same about their smart locks.

Still, homeowners have grown increasingly dependent on these devices — and wouldn’t mind acquiring a few more to boot.

Those who responded to the survey said they had spent an average of $1,172 on smart tech for their homes. They’d be willing to invest as much as $2,475 toward similar technology, they said.

And while most expressed some level of concern about an internet-connected home, the devices are still seen by some as improving overall security. Nearly two-thirds said they invest in smart tech for reasons related to security and safety. 

When asked whether they feel safer in their home because of smart tech, the respondents were split down the middle. Slightly more than half said they felt less secure because of smart tech, while the rest said they felt more secure.

Just over half said they wanted to be able to control aspects of their home while away. And general convenience was cited by a large share of respondents as well.

Smart vacuums, kitchen appliances, thermostats and lights were all commonly cited as an improvement to quality of life.

Email Daniel Houston

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