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 <i>Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012</i> 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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

It's an interesting direction, and fair play that they've backed what their service differentiator in the market is. It's a bit clunky bi...

Jeff

Versa launches bot-activated website

Read more

Algorithms that can make sense of unstructured data is the future. It's great to see experts in the field getting together to discuss AI.

Sumit Takim

In pictures: Harnessing AI for customer engagement - CMO roundtable Melbourne

Read more

Real digital transformation requires reshaping the way the business create value for customers. Achieving this requires that organization...

ravi H

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

thanks

Lillian Juliet

How Winedirect has lifted customer recency, frequency and value with a digital overhaul

Read more

Having an effective Point of Sale system implemented in your retail store can streamline the transactions and data management activities....

Sheetal Kamble

​Jurlique’s move to mobile POS set to enhance customer experience

Read more

Blog Posts

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

You’re doing it wrong: Emotion doesn’t mean emotional

If you’ve been around advertising long enough, you’ve probably seen (or written) a slide which says: “They won’t remember what you say, they’ll remember how you made them feel.” But it’s wrong. Our understanding of how emotion is used in advertising has been ill informed and poorly applied.

Zac Martin

Senior planner, Ogilvy Melbourne

Why does brand execution often kill creativity?

The launch of a new brand, or indeed a rebrand, is a transformation to be greeted with fanfare. So why is it that once the brand has launched, the brand execution phase can also be the moment at which you kill its creativity?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in