A survey by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s (OAIC), shows that Australians are becoming more concerned about privacy risks.
at privacy risks
The Community Attitudes to Privacy survey found that people expected the organisations they dealt with to take effective steps to safeguard their personal information.
It reported that 48 per cent of Australians believed that online services, including social media, now posed the greatest privacy risk. Only 9 per cent of survey respondents considered social media websites to be trustworthy in protecting privacy.
Australian Information Commissioner, John McMillan said the survey results confirmed the growing community concern about privacy risks arising from the explosion in use of social media since the survey was last run in 2007.
“In the last five years we have seen a significant change in how people communicate and interact online. People’s attitude to the importance of personal privacy protection is changing at the same time,” Professor McMillan said.
He said survey participants were asked whether certain industries were trustworthy. The three most trustworthy industries were health service providers, trusted by 90 per cent of participants; financial institutions, trusted by 74 per cent (up from 58 per cent in 2007) and Government, trusted by 69 per cent.
Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim said it was clear the Australian public continued to insist that their personal information was handled with the highest possible standards.
“There is a business imperative for organisations to be transparent about their personal information handling practices and to ensure that privacy is built into systems and processes right from the beginning,” Mr Pilgrim said.
“Just over 60 per cent of Australians have decided to not deal with an organisation because of privacy concerns, which is an increase from just over 40 per cent in 2007.”
The survey showed that Australians were increasingly concerned about the international sharing of personal information, with 79 per cent feeling that cross-border disclosure was a misuse of personal information, and 90 per cent having concerns about the practice.
Edition 383, 15 October 2013