Views on Privacy. A Survey

In Data, Privacy, and the Individual (2020)
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The purpose of this survey was to gather individual’s attitudes and feelings towards privacy and the selling of data. A total (N) of 1,107 people responded to the survey. Across continents, age, gender, and levels of education, people overwhelmingly think privacy is important. An impressive 82% of respondents deem privacy extremely or very important, and only 1% deem privacy unimportant. Similarly, 88% of participants either agree or strongly agree with the statement that ‘violations to the right to privacy are one of the most important dangers that citizens face in the digital age.’ The great majority of respondents (92%) report having experienced at least one privacy breach. People’s first concern when losing privacy is the possibility that their personal data might be used to steal money from them. Interestingly, in second place in the ranking of concerns, people report being concerned about privacy because ‘Privacy is a good in itself, above and beyond the consequences it may have.’ People tend to feel that they cannot trust companies and institutions to protect their privacy and use their personal data in responsible ways. The majority of people believe that governments should not be allowed to collect everyone’s personal data. Privacy is thought to be a right that should not have to be paid for.

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Carissa Véliz
Oxford University


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