This report presents the key findings of a survey conducted in April 2015 by the Finnish market research company Taloustutkimus Oy and commissioned by the PRIANO research project at the University of Tampere’s COMET research centre.
Link to the report (pdf, 18 pages)
Summary of key results:
● The majority of respondents (68%) were concerned about the fact that more and more information about internet users is collected for different purposes, for instance for targeted advertising. The majority of the respondents (76%) wanted to know in more detail what information is collected and what it is used for. Even more respondents (87%) would like to decide themselves how their personal data should be used.
● In the view of the respondents, the organisations that best safeguard personal data in digital services and databases are banks and insurance companies (72%); hospitals, health centres and medical clinics (69%); the government (59%); municipal and city authorities (55%); and educational institutions (54%). They were considerably less confident about Finnish internet providers and online shops (32%). Confidence in user personal data protection was particularly low in connection with Google (18%) and Facebook (13%).
● People still take the trouble to preserve their privacy. The most common practices included using different passwords for online services, deleting search histories and not accepting cookies, taking precautions to protect the privacy of people in photographs, and opting out of services that did not employ sufficient privacy safeguards.
● Respondents skimmed or did not read user agreements for services (EULAs), but simply accepted them so that they could start using the service. A total of 63% of Facebook users, 40% of Google users, 38% of Instagram users and 36% of WhatsApp users said that they had read the terms and conditions for use of the service.
● Respondents were not without reservations in terms of online surveillance conducted by the authorities. Just over half of the respondents (53%) said they would not grant the Finnish authorities the right to covertly monitor citizens’ internet use. Slightly more than one-third (36%) of respondents would, however, approve of such monitoring.
● Younger internet users were more concerned about protecting their privacy than older respondents.