Share/E-mail This Story

Email This



Turns Out People Say They're Concerned About Privacy, But They're Not

from the indeed dept

Well, this shouldn't surprise very many people, but following on plenty of earlier studies that have made it clear that most people don't do much to protect their privacy, a new study out of the UK pretty much states the obvious: people say they're concerned about privacy, but they sure don't act that way. The study found 84% of users say they carefully guard their info online -- but when tested, 89% of people actually did give away info in the same exact survey. To be fair, the specific set of questions was first asking people if they carefully guard their income info, followed later by a question asking them what income bracket they fell into. It's reasonable to think that some folks believe that the bracket is not the same as giving away their actual income -- which is what the first question implied. Still, it does show how people do tend to be freer with info than they might expect, so long as the questions are worded properly. Or if someone gives them chocolate.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    some old guy, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 6:38am

    It means the punishments are out of alignment

    I am concerned for my physical well being too, but that doesn't mean that I wear a kevlar vest underneath football (americano) armor.

    I don't have to. Why? Because the punishments are proportional to the crime that the likelihood of someone decidng to cause bodily harm to me when I "present myself to the public by walking down the street" are significantly low. This isn't because people are inherently good. People respect my physical person out of fear of what would happen if they decided to not respect my physical person. Whats the punishment for stabbing me and taking my wallet? Quite hefty indeed. Hefty enough that there are very few people willing to do it.

    But that doesn't translate to the web very well. For one thing, a law here is useless, as the perpetrator may not be in the same country at all. Hell, he could be in space passing through 20 countries an hour, and soon we will have to learn to deal with that reality as well.

    Right now we are in a state of transition. It sucks. People have a hard time conforming to good security, cause it goes against their expectations of what they think they should have to do. People should be afraid to steal their identity. And yet, they are not. It's too easy for ID thieves to get away with it, there's not enough being done (to | about) the thieves to make sure that this low hanging fruit is deemed poisonous.

    You see, we made the mistake of building an international network long before we had an international governing authority. It was worth it, don't get me wrong... But until we get the laws to the point where they are consistent and enforceable, this is going to continue to be a problem. Or worse, the problem will escalate until countries decide to segregate the net. Big-Split anyone?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 6:48am

    im concerned about privacy, but i dont care about the data google collects on its users.

    when i use to use yahoo i use the optout option (weekly since it was cooky based)

    it realy is relative (who is collecting the dataand what type of data is being collected)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    MissingFrame, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 6:54am

    Bad example (income)

    There's a huge difference providing your income bracket than someone reading your paystub. If you don't think so, check out how many MySpace teens are making over $100k

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    nunya_bidness, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 7:25am

    AOL conducted a survey, say no more.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Aug 15th, 2008 @ 7:32am

    In other words, people are concerned about privacy but are utterly clueless as to how to protect it. Not particularly surprising.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Murrawhip, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 7:35am

    Winner

    Comment #3 wins.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 7:35am

    Re: Bad example (income)

    "There's a huge difference providing your income bracket than someone reading your paystub. If you don't think so, check out how many MySpace teens are making over $100k"

    LMAO . . . no kidding those kids have a rude awaking when they actually get jobs and find out how few of them pay that much LOL

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Aaron, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 7:36am

    Re: It means the punishments are out of alignment

    We really don't want an "international governing authority" regulating privacy. Privacy is way too nebulous of a concept for that. Cultures differ greatly on what is considered private information and what is not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    The Indeed dept, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 7:55am

    Turns Out People Say They're Concerned About X, But They're Not

    Listen up techies! Judge Hochberg, of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, gave code-heads a lot to chew on several days ago with his ruling in Jacobsen v. Katzer. Why is Mike ignoring it?


    http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2008/08/13/conditions-in-open-source-artistic-licenses-limit-their -scope-discuss/?mod=googlenews_wsj

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 7:58am

    Its the same AS . . .

    Americans are concerned about privacy in the same way they "support the troops". That is, they will talk alot about it but when it comes down to actually performing any action, well thats just too much hassle.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    jonnyq, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 8:18am

    Re:

    Or alternatively, people who volunteer to fill out silly surveys are "concerned about privacy" but aren't.

    The people who are actually concerned about privacy just didn't fill out the survey.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 8:53am

    Re: Its the same AS . . .

    Don't buy into the smoke and mirrors. Saw a bumper sticker on a car yesterday-- "FREEDOM ISN'T FREE" Nope, not at all. Costs several civil liberties, bankrupting the country, and privatizing Fannie Mae... Remember, SALLY MAE was privatized in 1997. That mission was accomplished.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 9:14am

    Re: It means the punishments are out of alignment

    "Why? Because the punishments are proportional to the crime that the likelihood of someone decidng to cause bodily harm to me when I "present myself to the public by walking down the street" are significantly low. This isn't because people are inherently good. People respect my physical person out of fear of what would happen if they decided to not respect my physical person."

    Really? You have extensive research that proves this? Sorry, but I don't buy your argument. The average person has no desire to hurt someone to steal their wallet. That urge comes from one of two places: desperation (most common), and sadism. Now, I guess what you are saying is that most people are either desperate or sadistic enough to hurt you unless a punishment is in place. I guess I don't have widespread proof, but I can point to one solid counter-example to your argument: myself. I have no desire to hurt someone, punishment or not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Lance, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: It means the punishments are out of alignment

    Hegemon is incorrect. While it is true that MOST people would not rob or stab someone, stiff penalties adjust the level of desperation or sadism needed to break the law. The guy who really want a wii would be more likely to rob or steal to get it if there was no/light repercussions. The guy who needs to feed his family or buy medication for a sick child is probably going to weigh those consequences against a far more pressing need for the funds. Whether you like it or not the wrold is more like Hobbes said it was.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Mary Sherry, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 9:31am

    Re: Re: It means the punishments are out of alignment

    So when 68% of businesses fail to pay taxes (or use loopholes which deviate from the original intent of the law) How should the IRS go after them, or should they just be let off with a slap on the wrist?

    What is a reasonable punishment for this level of "sadism" (as you term it)?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Captain Obvious Shoots, and scores!, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re: Re: It means the punishments are out of alignment

    This story is about the UK and privacy, not the US and taxes, dumbass.

    Thanks for the threadjacking. This country needs an enema. But in the meantime, please stay on topic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 9:47am

    So.... freedom is the same as .. income?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    some old guy, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It means the punishments are out of alignment

    Thanks for the threadjacking. This country needs an enema. But in the meantime, please stay on topic.

    Thanks for the forum trolling. You need a prozak. Mary was on topic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Jack Johnson, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 10:00am

    Re: It means the punishments are out of alignment

    This article is right on, we have forgotten what privacy is, and what does it look like. Life casting and video posting, like YouTube, Justin.tv, etc. have created a new privacy: a non-existent, not-desired one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Aug 15th, 2008 @ 10:30am

    Re: Turns Out People Say They're Concerned About X, But They're Not

    Listen up techies! Judge Hochberg, of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, gave code-heads a lot to chew on several days ago with his ruling in Jacobsen v. Katzer. Why is Mike ignoring it?

    Um. I wrote about it Wednesday night.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080813/1655461968.shtml

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    TG, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 1:21pm

    Honestly, I lend no credence WHATSOEVER to that chocolate survey. Did they actually test the passwords they were given by the people they asked? No.
    So all they really found out was that people are willing to give up a false password for chocolate. That's hardly a security risk.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    VS, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 2:33pm

    Enforcing vs. Respecting

    Opinion...

    People are used to living in social environments where privacy is respected. They take only very obvious measures to enforce it in the hopes that those measures are enough to inspire respect. Subtract out that respect and they appear not to be adequately protecting their private information.

    When people share private information, they trust that the information will be kept in confidence and used appropriately. That is, their giving of the information should not be interpreted as their lack of concern about the privacy of that information.

    I certainly hope that the survey is not interpreted as a reason to relax respect for privacy. Indeed, if anything, it shows a need to help people protect themselves.

    Internet (and other) companies are pushing the boundaries of what is people expect in terms of respect for privacy. People share private information without realizing it... the information they give is used in ways they never expect.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 6:37pm

    Article has limited scope

    Title -> Turns Out People Say They're Concerned About Privacy, But They're Not

    This is very true. And not just individuals, it is also applicable to companies, CEOs, politicians, etc.

    You hear or read the bullshit, but when it comes to actually doing something about someone else's privacy it is either too expensive or difficult to do anything.

    It is quite obvious to the casual observer that companies, politicians, etc do not give a rats ass about your privacy. In fact they are going out of their way to attack it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    crystalattice (profile), Aug 15th, 2008 @ 8:08pm

    How do they know the data is real?

    Whenever I fill out these types of surveys/registrations/etc., unless there is a bonafide reason for me to give real information, I won't. Even giving the correct income bracket is too much for me; I usually adjust it one up or down. Same thing with my age.

    Just because these surveys claim people aren't really concerned about privacy because they give out "personal information", it doesn't mean the information they gave is actually personal. It just means they gave out information. There is no way to verify the information is accurate.

    And if someone did give out something personal, such as a password for chocolate, they can still just change it. Or maybe they have a setup where you need a smart card to use their account. Just because they give out so-called "personal" information doesn't mean they're stupid.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    John, Aug 17th, 2008 @ 6:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: It means the punishments are out of alignment

    Sorry to change the subject, but...

    So when 68% of businesses fail to pay taxes...
    My accountant told me about this story over the weekend and I don't think we've seen a more misleading, hyperbolic story in ages!
    The way she explained it is that S-Corp businesses don't have to file federal taxes: the revenue flows from the business to the owners, so the owners pay taxes from their income and not on the business.
    I may have misquoted her, so we should probably get another accountant to verify the information, but the story is still wildly misleading.

    Though it wouldn't be as entertaining as a headline that read "68% of all businesses don't have to pay taxes. Blame Calvin Coolidge for passing HR 1234 in 1926."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    TSO, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 11:50am

    There's a difference between divulging your income bracket vs. divulging your REAL income bracket :-b

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    TSO, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 11:52am

    P.S. And if you really trust the information I enter into such web surveys, then you would be surprised that my name is Mr. Noneofyour Business.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Koy Maquis, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 4:42am

    Liberation can response to Transformation Development

    Many ways that we can response to poverty then reach to transform structure or system. By my experience as a Transformational Development Facilitator of World Vision Cambodia I would tell all of you about the living context of community and worker in cambodia that:
    Nowaday, They are facing with the bad sytem which were abusing their rights and benefit. The community just follow what the authority decided. They live with no sound. They need to pay for all service of authority, like birth certification which the responsibility of government.They have to work hard with low benefit.So I would you send me any solution that suitable with this issue.I do hope you in condidency
    Thank you!
    My Best Regards!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This