Social media poses greatest privacy risk: OAIC survey

Only 9 per cent of respondents considered social media websites trustworthy

Nearly half of Australians surveyed by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) cited social media websites as the greatest risk to their privacy.

The Community Attitudes to Privacy survey was conducted in June 2013 with 1000 Australians by Wallis Consulting Group.

It found that 48 per cent of Australians believe online services, including social media, pose a privacy risk while only 9 per cent of respondents considered social media websites to be trustworthy when it came to protecting their privacy.

Australian Information Commissioner, Professor John McMillan, said the survey results confirm there's a growing concern in the community about privacy risks associated with social media since the survey was last conducted in 2007.

The survey also found that consumers want data security protection to be similar in both the public and private sectors. For example, 96 per cent of survey participants expect to be informed if their information is lost by a government agency or public company.

In addition, 95 per cent of respondents wanted to be made aware how of their information is handled on a day-to-day basis.

Over 60 per cent of Australians surveyed decided not to deal with an organisation because of concerns over how their personal information had been or may be used. This was an increase from 40 per cent in 2007’s survey.

Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim said the results showed there is a business imperative for organisations to be more transparent about their personal information handling practices.

“With a significant number of people saying that they have decided not to deal with an organisation due to privacy concerns, I suggest that business needs to listen to this and consider improving their practices,” he said in a statement.

“Businesses must ensure that privacy is built in to systems and processes right from the beginning.”

International sharing of personal information was also a growing concern for Australians with 79 per cent of respondents citing cross-border disclosure as a misuse of information.

“This is an interesting finding given the increasing frequency with which data is being sent off-shore,” Pilgrim said.

“The Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012 which comes into law in March 2014 will increase protection around the handling of Australian information that is transferred off-shore, and it will be interesting to see how attitudes change as a result of this,” he said.

Lastly, survey participants were asked whether certain industries were trustworthy. The three most trustworthy industries were health service providers, trusted by 90 per cent of participants; financial institutions, trusted by 74 per cent (up from 58 per cent in 2007); and government, trusted by 69 per cent of respondents.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Against Net Promoter: A new way of interpreting the customer data deluge

One thing that frustrates marketers is the sloppy use of digital research.

Jason Juma-Ross

lead partner, PwC Digital Intelligence

How to better value your data

As digital marketing techniques matured over the last few years, the momentum to collect and utilise data has rapidly gathered pace.

Mark Cameron

CEO, Working Three

5 essentials for leading digital transformation

While each business will have a unique digital transformation agenda, there are five essentials every CMO can pick up and excel at to ensure a smooth transformation.

Jacki James

strategic planner, Zuni

You think people are annoyed with marketing messages now? Wait til they start getting them on their pill bottles. That's not "engagement...

Len Diamoond

Marketo CEO: Mass media is dead; embrace engagement marketing

Read more

I'd love to hear an update on how this trial went and any stats that are being released. Have looked around and doesn't appear to be anyt...

Valentina Borbone

Melbourne Cricket Ground to give away pies during Beacon trial

Read more

Thanks

Veri kurtarma

How data is driving the customers of a lifetime for BaubleBar

Read more

I love the article and feel it's right on. Only thing I don't agree with is ..'“If a marketer starts to pigeon-hole themselves as just b...

Scott Sundheim

CMO to CEO: Virgin’s David Scribner talks growth

Read more

Kind of ironic this was posted on the day that Target closed in my home town. They obviously didn't get customer experience in Canada.

Carol Wain

Target: Emotional social vital to customer experience management

Read more

Sign in