Ipsos has released the results of its latest Internet Security and Trust survey, showing how people around the world feel about internet privacy right now.
The survey was conducted between 29 December 2017 and 5 March 2018, and polled 25,262 users from across 25 different countries. This includes over 1,000 South Africans who were weighted to match current demographics in the economy.
The survey found that more than half (52%) of internet users around the world are more concerned about their online privacy than they were a year ago.
Among those who are more concerned about their online privacy, three quarters (74%) say that internet companies contribute to that growing concern – second only to cyber criminals (81%) and ahead of other internet users (66%), one’s own government (63%), companies in general (61%), foreign governments (58%) or employers (48%).
Global internet users also express a high-level of distrust of social media platforms, search engines and internet technology companies with 63% of respondents claiming that social media has too much power.
Those in emerging markets such as Nigeria (84%), Egypt (81%) and Kenya (79%) are most like likely to agree that social media has too much power, while residents of Russia (40%), Japan (47%) and Poland (49%) are less likely to say so.
South Africa is a stand-out when it comes to rising levels of distrust, particularly around internet companies.
When asked to what extent government contributed to an increase in online privacy concerns over the last year, 34% of South African respondents said that it had contributed ‘a great deal’, while 30% felt that they ‘somewhat agree’.
This combined score of 64% placed South Africa 10th behind countries such as the United States (78%), Poland (65%) and Brazil (64%) when it came to governmental privacy concerns.
However, South Africa was the highest ranked country when asked to what extent internet companies contributed to an increase in online privacy concerns over the last year.
48% of South African respondents said that it had contributed ‘a great deal’, while 36% felt that they ‘somewhat agree’ for a total of 84%.
This is 10% above the international average of 74%, and beats out India and the USA (83%), as well as France and the Republic of Korea (78%).