Survey Says Global Trust on the Internet is in Decline

Apr 21, 2016

A new global survey finds that consumers are increasingly worried about their online privacy and security, especially when it comes to ‎how their personal data is handled by private corporations and governments. The survey commissioned by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and conducted by global research company Ipsos across 24 countries finds that a majority of global citizens (83%) believe that there need to be new rules about how companies, governments, and other users use personal data. The 2016 CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust findings show that a strong majority (85%) also believe that their governments should work closely with other governments and organizations to make the Internet more safe and secure.

When asked about online privacy, a majority of global citizens (57%) were more concerned about their online privacy compared to one year ago, with only a minority of global citizens (38%) trusting that their activities on the Internet were not monitored. Similarly less than half of respondents (46%) trust that their activity online is not being censored.

When it came to perceptions of who global citizens felt they could trust to keep personal information safe and secure, only three in ten (30%) respondents agreed that their own government is currently doing enough to keep personal information secure and safe from private companies, and similarly 31% agreed that private companies are doing enough to keep personal information secure and safe from governments.  

Further than this, 83% global citizens appear to have changed their online behaviour in an effort to control the amount of personal information that is being shared online. The behavior information ranges from minor changes such as avoiding opening emails from unknown email addresses (55%) to more substantial changes such as doing fewer financial transactions (23%), or even using the Internet less often (11%).