Privacy awareness is developing rapidly, at least in the US

Privacy awareness is developing rapidly, at least in the US

It often seems that the average visitors/users of social media are little or not aware that their privacy is being violated there. The platforms collect data from visitors to their heart's content and use it for commercial initiatives.

However, research by GlobalWebIndex shows that visitors to those media are increasingly aware of the privacy dangers that threaten them. This has two causes. The first is that there is a growing realization that the society around them is increasingly data-driven.

Awareness is also growing, because reports regularly appear in the press about the economic importance of data for the platforms. In addition, governments in Europe have come to consider the privacy of their citizens increasingly important.

This concern is understandable, because users spend an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes per day on social networks and messaging apps, for example. (This is American research). During that time, they leave behind a mountain of personal data. When we look at internet traffic in general, the numbers get dramatic. On average, we spend 6 hours and 43 minutes of the day online.

GlobalWebIndex's research shows that 65% of users are concerned about their privacy and data and at least 35% are extremely concerned. At least 30% say they have more and more difficulty with their data being shared with third parties just like that. As a result, a growing group is paying more and more attention to their privacy settings.

Of course, not everyone is strict about this. For some, it matters which platform they visit whether or not they offer a public profile or go purely private. One platform is not the other, or so goes the reasoning. There is, however, a growing tendency to stop posting sensitive information in a public profile. As many as 38% of those surveyed said they would no longer post photos or express a strong opinion.

When visitors want to report something personally, they are increasingly opting for separate channels, such as private messaging apps, instead of social platforms. The most drastic step is that 10% of social media users will actually stop using it. That sounds a lot, but it deserves some nuance. By 2020, no fewer than 4.5 billion people will visit the Internet and nearly 4 billion will be users of social media. That 10% in the Anglo-Saxon countries pales in comparison.

In other words, social media remains a Fundgrube when it comes to privacy data. On the other hand, social media would do well to take the trend in the Anglo-Saxon countries towards more protection of privacy-sensitive matters seriously. It is only a matter of time before the rest of the world starts to follow suit.

They do well to respond to the urge for more privacy. Self-interest also plays a clear role here. Platforms such as Google and Facebook are constantly looking for new fields of work. They have focused their sights on healthcare and banking services. If privacy is paramount anywhere, it is in these two areas.