Study shows people care more about data privacy but are doing less to protect themselves

A new survey says that data privacy - whilst allowing government access to encrypted files will impact government policies around the world.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Business owners recognise how important it is to keep their customer data safe to avoid data breaches that threaten customer perception about the company.

In the wake of the Apple and US government negotiations, data privacy is a hard choice. There are hard questions to ask yourself about how much you are willing to sacrifice your privacy to accomplish other goals.

Collaboration and communications company Open Xchange has released its second Consumer Openness Index.

It surveyed 3,000 internet users in the US, UK and Germany.

The survey showed that internet users are demanding elected officials to take a stance to protect the privacy of their data.

Eighty-one percent of respondents in the US care about the presidential candidates' positions on data privacy, and 51 percent believe the candidates should pay more attention to it.

The majority of Americans indicated that a candidate's position on data privacy would influence their vote at the elections.

Eighty percent of respondents believe in a fundamental right to privacy, but more than half of then also believe that the government should be able to access encrypted files to keep them safe from foreign attack.

64 percent of respondents across each country believe that data privacy will impact related government policy around the world.

In the UK, 53 percent of respondents believe that the impact of the Investigatory Powers Bill, a proposal that would increase the UK government's surveillance powers, has not been adequately explained by Home Secretary Theresa May.

In Germany, 46 percent are in favour of the European Court of Justice's decision to invalidate Safe Harbor.

Internet-savvy respondents in the US, UK, and Germany are more likely to report that they would stop using many types of companies if news of a privacy scandal emerged.

57 percent of respondents in the three countries believe that companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google never have the right to share their personal data.

The proportion of internet users who view themselves as the most responsible for preventing invasions of privacy now amounts to 31 percent of the population.

31 percent of respondents replied that they actually did not know if their personal data had ever been compromised (28 percent US, 36 percent UK, and 28 percent Germany).

In 2016, only one in five internet users across the US, UK, and Germany uses email encryption.

Germans (36 percent) are twice as likely as Americans (18 percent) to employ email encryption, and three times as likely as the British (12 percent).

10 percent of internet users reported that they used encryption for email, messaging, voice chat, or other online communication all the time; however 22 percent of used reported using it some of the time.

Although we all believe in the right to privacy, we tend to have difficulty with the trade-off and balance in the right to security.

OpenXchange believes that 2016 will be the year when many of us will have to make up their minds and demand the level of data security we want.

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