People Want Online Privacy -- They Just Don't Want To Do Anything About It

Created: 25 November, 2014
Updated: 15 October, 2022
2 min read

Most people are concerned about online privacy, but most people are also not doing anything to protect their personal information. That is what a recent international survey from the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), a Canadian think tank, suggests.

According to CIGI, 64 percent of respondents said they are more concerned about online privacy and the security of their personal information now than they were a year ago. Further, nearly 80 percent said they were concerned about criminals and hackers accessing their personal bank accounts and/or stealing personal information through their online accounts.

With so much concern over online privacy, one would expect people to take whatever necessary actions are required to protect sensitive information. CIGI found that this is not the case for everyone.

CIGI asked respondents if they have heard of Edward Snowden; 60 percent said yes. Despite knowledge of the NSA scandal, however, only 39 percent of these respondents said they have taken steps to protect their privacy and security online. Only 43 percent of respondents avoid websites that have raised privacy concerns and 39 percent change their passwords regularly.

Interestingly enough, nearly 40 percent of respondents admitted to sharing personal information with private companies and say "it's no big deal." So, there seems to be a prevalent notion that though we want privacy online, we don't want to be responsible for ensuring it.

People need to realize something about privacy in the digital age. We demand measures be taken to enhance our privacy online, but we share everything about our personal lives on social networking sites like Facebook. There is a paradox here.

Even before the rise of social media, a person's privacy depended on how much they wanted to share with people and how important keeping certain things private was to them. Things have not changed. Though it is easier to access information, personal privacy is still the responsibility of the individual.

If people want to share information online, they should know there is a chance that some hacker somewhere could gain access to it. There are a couple of ways to keep sensitive information secure:

  1. People can choose not to put information they want private on their online profiles, or
  2. They can take steps to keep their information safe -- like updating their security settings every now and then or avoiding certain websites.

It is reasonable to be concerned over online privacy -- especially in the wake of revelations that the U.S. government is spying on its own citizens and people around the world through surveillance and data collection programs. However, it is not reasonable to be concerned about privacy and then do nothing about it.

Photo Credit: Blablo101 / shutterstock.com

IVP Existence Banner

Latest articles

New Poll Shows Kennedy Tied with Biden in Utah; Will Appear in First Debate?
For the first time in decades, an independent presidential candidate has caught up to one of the two establishment parties in a statewide poll....
17 June, 2024
5 min read
Poll Shows Strong Support for 'Top Two' Measure in South Dakota
A recent poll shows that 55% of South Dakota voters support Amendment H, which if approved in November will implement a nonpartisan, top-two primary in the state similar to systems used in California and Washington....
13 June, 2024
2 min read
Washington DC
Report: Half of 2024 US House Races Already a Done Deal
Editor's Note: The following article on The Fulcrum and has been republished with permission from t...
12 June, 2024
3 min read