Global Privacy Concerns in 2020 and the Impact of the Coronavirus

As the internet has become an increasingly important part of our lives, people are beginning to realize that in a lot of ways their privacy is being compromised on a regular basis. Services like Facebook and Google are apparently free of charge, and a big part of the reason why that is the case has to do with the fact that these companies earn so much money from the data that you provide for them which is why they are able to become some of the most profitable companies in the entire world.

Hacks occur every passing day, but the fact that big corporations have so much of our data in vast databases in the first place seems to be causing people an enormous amount of concern and for good reason.

Over the past few years, concerns surrounding privacy on the internet have grown. According to a Global Web Index report, the ratio of consumers that are concerned with how little privacy they have on the internet has grown from global average of 53.8 percent to 59.4 percent since 2013. The Asia Pacific region has had widespread internet access and high quality tech for quite some time now, and there has been a growth in concern from 59% to 60%. These are established markets however, so the fact that the number of users that are concerned about this has remained stable probably has something or the other to do with that.

If you look at Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, regions where internet usage has increased, a trend can be noticed. These regions have gone from 52% and 53% of users respectively reporting concerns about privacy online to 61% and 62%, a pretty enormous increase by any metric.

This means that as internet and social media usage becomes more widespread in these areas, concerns about privacy online are growing because of the fact that people are becoming more cognizant of how their information often ends up being used online. Latin America and the Middle East and Africa both saw spikes in concerns among users in the year 2018, with the former seeing 63% of users reporting privacy concerns that year and the latter reporting 67%. While these numbers have stabilized a little, it’s not by much. North America has seen a rise from 56% to 62% which means that even consumers in developed markets are growing concerned.

With the coronavirus in full swing, governments are starting to use contact tracing using user data online to ascertain who might have contracted the virus and how it is spreading. This has resulted in concerns regarding how such a thing might be possible, with 42% of respondents in the US and 39% in the UK stating that they are worried about how the government might use this information to infringe on their civil liberties.

Read next: Survey Revealed That 50 Percent of People Keep Their Social Media Accounts Public And Open
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