Original Research

Data trust in Consumer Internet of Things assemblages in the mobile and fixed telecommunication operators in South Africa

Mfanasibili Ngwenya, Mpho Ngoepe
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 24, No 1 | a1426 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v24i1.1426 | © 2022 Mfanasibili Ngwenya, Mpho Ngoepe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 June 2021 | Published: 28 March 2022

About the author(s)

Mfanasibili Ngwenya, Department of Information Science, Faculty of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Mpho Ngoepe, Department of Information Science, Faculty of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Devices can be connected through the Internet of Things (IoT) technology to create a smart ecosystem. From the connection, various stakeholders share personal data with companies in the consumer IoT (CIoT) space for marketing and other reasons. Customers download and use applications without mulling over the type of personal information exposed to the rest of the world.

Objective: The main objective of this study was to explore data trust in CIoT assemblages in the mobile and fixed telecommunication operators in South Africa.

Method: This qualitative study triangulated narrative enquiry with the Delphi technique to explore data trust in CIoT assemblages in South Africa. The primary data collection techniques used in this study were unstructured interviews (in the case of narrative enquiry), questionnaires and semi-structured interviews (in the Delphi technique). For the Delphi technique, five experts were chosen purposively based on their involvement in IoT, selling and on-selling IoT services or those providing support services to the IoT ecosystems, while six narrative enquiry participants were selected through snowball technique based on their exposure to using consumer IoT solutions, ability to provide detailed descriptions of their experiences and willingness to articulate those experiences.

Results: The study established that the choice of system to use varied from consumer to consumer. The consumer’s original decision may be influenced by many factors, such as devices sponsored by one’s health insurance or security company. However, the constant use of a specific system makes it personal and more comfortable for the consumer. The level of trust in the CIoT system increases with constant interactions.

Conclusion: The study concludes that there should be a very high level of stakeholders trust for faster adoption of CIoT in South Africa. Therefore, regulators such as the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa should ensure that IoT devices in the South African market are trustworthy.


Keywords

data trust; data security; Consumer Internet of Things (CIoT); mobile applications; South Africa

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