Three quarters of consumers concerned about privacy online: report

Big companies and governments know too much about us

In spite of assertions by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and others that the age of privacy is over, new research commissioned by civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch has revealed that over three quarters of consumers globally are concerned about their privacy online.

In a survey of 10,354 people across nine countries, undertaken by market research agency ComRes, 79 per cent said they were concerned about their personal privacy, with India (94 per cent), Brazil (90 per cent) and Spain (90 per cent) showing the highest level of concern.

Germany, which has one of the strongest data protection laws in the world, was the only country where a majority (56 per cent) said they are unconcerned about their privacy online.

"Germany has set an example to be followed, taking strong legal action against companies who do not respect people's privacy," said Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch in a blog post.

"The fact many of the highest-profile privacy lawsuits have been tackled first there and data protection law is vigorously enforced clearly contributes to giving citizens feeling their rights are being defended."

Globally, 41 per cent of people feel consumers are being harmed by big companies gathering large amounts of data. Respondents in Australia, South Korea, UK and France were the most critical of this practice, while those in Brazil, India and Spain were the most sympathetic to them doing so.

The research also investigated the public's attitude towards the EU's current investigation into Google's privacy policy and how it allows the company to collect and combine data.

Just under two out of three consumers surveyed believe that national regulators should do more to force Google to comply with existing regulations concerning online privacy and the protection of personal data.

"Online privacy is a global issue of real importance to people and the overwhelming message is that citizens do not feel their authorities are doing enough about the desire of large companies to collect vast amounts of data on them," said Pickles.

"The widespread support for EU regulators to do more to ensure Google complies with existing privacy regulations highlights how people want to see real, concrete action taken to protect their privacy."

The news comes amid revelations that the US National Security Agency (NSA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been systematically gathering vast amounts of phone and web data for surveillance purposes, as part of its Prism programme.

Earlier this month, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said that she was not willing to sacrifice European citizens' rights for US national security.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Un-complicating multi-channel marketing: 5 actionable steps

There’s so much choice available that customers can pick and choose who they buy from and where, when, and how it happens. They want to discover, research, evaluate, and purchase on their preferred channel. Give them that option, and they’re more likely to choose you. That’s the whole point behind the multi-channel approach.

Aaron Agius

Co-founder and managing director, Louder Online

People in vegan houses shouldn't throw bacon

Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?

Abbie Love

Strategist, Ikon Communications

The role of the CMO is evolving: Are you keeping up?

My (amazing) vacation in the Galapagos Islands earlier in the year got me thinking about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. What does this have to do with the role of today’s CMO, you ask? Plenty.

Sheryl Pattek

Vice-president, executive partner

It’s excellent aiming to resurrect the complete within the hearts and minds of connected customers, moreover because the terribly relevan...

CMO Interview: How Kodak’s global CMO is bringing the brand back from the brink

Read more

Great to see ActiveCampaign's growth funded with some serious money.As a platform, it's up there with the usual suspects in terms of feat...

Lawrence Ladomery

CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 13 October

Read more


Kerry Edwards

Open Colleges taps into social for better student interaction

Read more

Or just go to sites like www.shopsthatshiptoaustralia.c... and others and be sure that the stores will send to where you live :-)


Why online shopping is like dating – RedBalloon CEO

Read more

Personalisation is the key. Customers demand a very relatable and well defined CX where the sincerity and understanding of their disposit...

Hitesh Parekh

In pictures: Improving cutomer experiences through smart personalisation

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in