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The on-line privacy issue

How much information do people know about you?

By Sally Pa - 24th August 2000 - Back to News

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New research shows that a huge majority of internet users are worried that their rights and privacy is infringed upon by the on-line world.

As the number of overall internet users increases, so too is the vulnaribility of each person who enters the web.

Companies can now track your behaviour on the internet, identify where you are located and even excahnge your personal details, all without your knowledge or permission.

An American survey found that 86 percent of internet users believe that companies should be required to seek permission before having access and control of this information.

94 percent of people were of the opinion that companies who denied them this right should be punished - the most voted for means being fines, shut downs and being publically listed as fraudulent.

This survey (conducted by The Pew Internet & American Life Project) found that many people are looking to push for a change in legisation to support their right to privacy.

However, despite the many complaints, many surveyed admitted that they did little to learn about how they were being infringed upon online, let alone take the steps to protect themselves.

It seems that many users would appreciate a little education on the basics of taking charge of their online privacy.

Almost a quarter of Internet users have lied when initially asked for information online, many use multiple passwords when registering on web sites and others have even masked their identities with encryption or software. Still, the news is not all bad. The internet remains THE place for indepth research on any topic, the cheapest, fastest and often most viable means of communication and the beginnings of new social interaction, with a quarter of those surveyed having made friends with someone online that they never knew before in the offline world.

We want to hear what you have to say about your privacy on-line. Click below to voice your opinion.


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