Here at younity we take privacy seriously. It’s one of the main reasons why we decided to facilitate the ability for users to build their very own personal cloud out of their own devices vs. forcing users to upload their data to a public cloud where their data might be at more risk of being comprised. We continue to see privacy and security of user data as an important issue. A recent study by the Centre of International Governance Innovation conducted a survey on “Internet Security and Trust”. In the wake of the Edward Snowden leaks of more than a year ago they found that two-thirds of the 23,376 participants from 24 countries have increased their concerns around online privacy. The complete New York Times Bits Blog article by Ian Austen is below.
OTTAWA — A survey released on Monday suggests that revelations about government online snooping provided by Edward Snowden did not raise concerns about online privacy to the same degree in the United States as in other countries. But it also indicates that a majority of Americans are worried about the security of personal information.
The online survey of 23,326 people in 24 countries conducted for Centre for International Governance Innovation, a Canadian research group, also found that Americans view the Internet as less vital to their economic, social and political future than other people worldwide.
While the poll found that the information leaked by Mr. Snowden about government online surveillance was well known in the United States, 62 percent of American respondents told Ipsos, a polling firm, that they were more concerned about online privacy now than they were a year ago. By comparison, that worry had increased for 83 percent of respondents in Brazil, India and Nigeria during the same period.
People in Sweden were the most sanguine, with only 46 percent indicating that their privacy worries have increased.
But Americans are nevertheless unhappy with the state of online security. Just 45 percent of American respondents said they thought that the government did “a very good job of making sure the Internet in their country is safe and secure.” Tunisians were the most satisfied, with 82 percent agreeing with that statement while, at the other extreme, only 25 percent of Japanese respondents said that was the case.
Similarly, only 31 percent of Americans agreed that “private information on the Internet is very secure”. Their worries fit not unexpected patterns. The survey found that 76 percent of Americans are concerned about having their bank accounts hacked and 70 percent are worried about personal messages and photographs being accessed or stolen.
But since the data released by Mr. Snowden, only 36 percent of Americans have done anything to improve their online privacy and security, a step taken by 69 percent of respondents from India. A minority of Americans said that they trust either the United States government, the technology industry, the United Nations or an international body of experts to run the Internet.
And while the Internet was an American creation, Americans are comparatively a little less in its thrall than citizens of other nations.
Seventy-seven percent of Americans agreed that affordable Internet access “should be a basic human right.” By contrast, more than 90 percent or more of respondents from China, Tunisia, Nigeria, Indonesia and Egypt supported that sentiment. And just three quarters of Americans, 74 percent, agreed that the Internet was “important for their own economic future and livelihood.” That idea was backed by 90 percent of Chinese respondents and 97 percent of Nigerians.
The survey was released at a meeting in Ottawa about how the Internet should be governed, organized by the Canadian governance center and Britain’s Royal Institute of International Affairs which is usually known as Chatham House.