Public concerned about web snooping, says survey

Author

David Barrett Home Affairs Correspondent

April 1, 2015

Poll suggests internet agreements on privacy have not gone far enough to protect consumers

Eight out of 10 Britons admit to being concerned about online privacy, according to new research.

A poll commissioned by campaign group Big Brother Watch found a sizeable majority – 72 per cent – also want official watchdogs to offer them more protection.

It reported that 68 per cent of people interviewed said regulators should have obtained a stricter privacy agreement with Google, the internet giant, in an agreement earlier this year.

ComRes polled 1,000 adults about their views and found nearly six out of 10 believe companies should only be allowed to gather personal data if they explain why they are doing so and how they will use the information.

In January Google was forced to improve its privacy policy after the Information Commissioner, the privacy watchdog, said the company was “too vague” about the vast amounts of data being gathered about web users.

But campaign groups have expressed concerns the new agreement did not go far enough to protect the public from snooping.

Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “This research shows that online privacy is increasingly at the forefront of the public’s mind.

“The perceived failures of the Information Commissioner’s Office to hold Google to account have done little to show that the regulator has effectively fulfilled its role.

“It is vital that technology companies respect the privacy of citizens and don’t assume that our engagement as consumers overrides the necessity for choice and control over our personal data.

“The public are making it clear that they want to see moves for more opting out of data sharing, stronger enforcement of data protection laws by privacy regulators and the need for privacy by design to be standard for all future technologies.”

Big Brother Watch claim the new agreement on Google and other firms “failed to enforce any real change”.

This article was written by David Barrett Home Affairs Correspondent from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


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