Smart home applications are becoming increasingly popular. Although the market as a whole is still in its infancy, the market penetration of some products is increasing rapidly. Increased comfort, increased living safety or energy savings are reasons for consumers to buy smart home products. But consumers are also sceptical: many find the increasing automatization of their home uncanny, fearing to become victims of hacker attacks and worried about their privacy. Many consumers also find the offers too expensive, do not see the benefits or criticise a lack of interoperability.
Against this background, the NRW Ministry of Consumer Protection has invited various stakeholders from science, industry, consumer protection and public authorities to a dialogue on consumer policy. ConPolicy Managing Director, Prof. Dr. Christian Thorun, moderated the event. Participants included Ursula Heinen Esser (Minister of Consumer Protection in NRW), Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Maaß (Saarland University), Wolfgang Schuldzinski and Helga Zander-Hayat (Verbraucherzentrale NRW), Dr. Claus-Dieter Ulmer (Deutsche Telekom), Günther Ohland (SmartHome Initiative Germany) and Roul Tiaden (Permanent Representative of the State Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information in NRW).