Consumers won't sacrifice online privacy

Only 27% of consumers are ready to sacrifice privacy, according to a global study assessing consumer attitudes of online privacy by EMC Corporation.

A study of privacy attitudes of 15,000 consumers from 15 countries shows that even though they are wary about online privacy, 91% of consumers prefer easier access to information and knowledge via internet.

Only 41% of those surveyed believe government is committed to protecting their privacy and the majority (81%) expects privacy to erode over the next five years.

59% of consumers said they have less privacy than a year ago and 85% of respondents give value to using digital technology for protection from terrorist and/or criminal activity. 54% want to trade some of their privacy to get this protection.

"The data captured in the EMC Privacy Index gives a fascinating view into the attitudes of global consumers and validates a fundamental point - respecting privacy and safeguarding data is a core value that should be shared by businesses, governments and individuals to enable a more trusted ecosystem," said Michael Kaiser, executive director, National Cyber Security Alliance. "If organizations are transparent and accountable for their information management practices, individuals will be able to better manage their digital lives consistent with how they want to share information about themselves."

No steps for protection

Many respondents are not taking measures to protect themselves and 62% don't change passwords regularly.

4 out of 10 respondents don't customize privacy settings on social networks and 39% don't use password-protection on mobile devices. 51% said businesses using, selling or trading personal data for financial gain and 31% cited lack of government attention among the top risks to the future of privacy.

People over the age of 55 are much less likely to password protect their mobile devices or change the privacy settings on their social networks.

51% are confident about the skills of providers to protect personal data, and 84% don't like anyone knowing anything about them or their habits unless they make a decision themselves to share that information.

"The unprecedented potential of Cloud and Big Data to drive commerce and societal advancement rests on a foundation of trust. Individuals need to know that their data not only is secure, but that its privacy is protected," said Jeremy Burton, president, Products and Marketing, EMC Information Infrastructure. "The Privacy Index reveals a global divergence of views around these critical issues of our time, and a warning call that responsibility for transparency, fairness, safe online behavior and trustworthy use of personal data must be shared by business, governments and individuals alike."

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