Security Magazine

Three in Four Britons Concerned about Internet Privacy: Poll

February 17, 2014

Three in four Britons are concerned about Internet privacy, according to a new poll from Ipsos MORI. Furthermore, 62 percent of Britons would rather keep their online activities private, even if it means that they lose out on personalized services and relevant recommendations. That puts Britain on a similar level to the United States, which countries such as France, Germany, Australia and Sweden are even less likely to say they would trade privacy for personalized services.

Sixty-eight percent of Britons are concerned about the way information is collected about them by the government, and 76 percent are worried about companies mining their data. Enterprises that are more trusted with data include healthcare providers (41%), banks (34%) and governments and supermarkets (both 31%). Least trusted enterprises include media companies (11%), social media sites (12%) and foreign governments (10%).

Despite online consumers’ concern, there is less sign that users are changing their behavior. Seventy-seven percent of people believe it is inevitable that we will lose some privacy in the future because of new technology, and 67 percent say they don’t often both reading terms and conditions on websites before accepting them; 23 percent have changed the default settings on their computer or browser to increase privacy; and only 34 percent would be willing to pay extra for a service to keep details private.

People are more likely to see the benefit of companies giving them access to the data held on them, however. According to the survey, 71 percent of Britons say they would like to have access to the data companies hold about them, to help them make better decisions, such as how to spend their money.