LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS SHANGHAI: Collecting data on consumers’ behaviour inside their homes is becoming increasingly easy thanks to connected devices, but the industry must remember it is entering the user’s “intimate” space and handle this data responsibly, warned Dr Karsten Ottenberg, CEO of BSH Home Appliances, in today’s second keynote focused on Mobile Identity for the Connected Life.

This is complicated by the fact that consumers have “quite a schizophrenia” when it comes to what personal data they are comfortable being collected about them, Ottenberg commented.

BSH conducted a survey in Germany and Austria and found that over half of respondents fear that connected home appliances will collect more data than is necessary and that most had in the past decided against downloading an app because of their misgivings about data privacy.

On the other hand, around 35 percent of them wanted software updates that match their current life situation.

“It’s therefore necessary to use data responsibly and professionally” noted Ottenberg, for which a functioning system of checks and balances in using big data is needed, coupled with ‘datability’ – the ability to classify data correctly.

“Datability also includes the dimensions of responsibility and sustainability in using information,” he said, adding that “the importance of datability is far-reaching. It impacts such elementary matters as trust.”

He believes that by adhering to high standards of security and giving a clear commitment to data privacy, companies can strengthen consumers’ trust in their products and brands.

As for his company’s role in the market, BSH has developed Home Connect, an app that can control domestic appliances from different brands, including non-BSH ones.

The first domestic appliances with Home Connect are already available in Germany and Austria and will also be available in China, a market he described as vibrant where BSH is “by far” the largest international player in home appliances.

To determine what the future holds, the company held a hackathon in Berlin and one of the more interesting innovations to come out of it was the ability to download a programme for baking the perfect pizza on to an oven via a QR code – which goes to prove his point that from a technical point of view, anything is possible in the mobile industry.