You can check out the full report here. Perhaps the biggest finding is that 40% of all Europeans and 46% of all Americans believe that responsibility for consumers’ online privacy rests with the individual. Only 30% of Europeans and 31% of Americans think companies are responsible for their customers’ privacy. When it comes to governments, Europeans see a greater role required, with 30% believing states are responsible for protecting privacy compared to 23% in the US.
As you can see from the chart below, a majority of respondents in both Europe and the US believe that companies should implement technological solutions to protect privacy, rather than offer more transparency or give users more privacy controls. This is a worrying attitude because while it makes life more simple for the consumer, it also places a great deal of trust in companies such as Google and Facebook to ensure its systems really are protecting privacy – as we all know such companies are not deserving of this trust.
For its part Microsoft says the survey results confirm its belief privacy will be achieved through collaboration with the global community.
“Baseline privacy legislation, industry self-regulation, user education and technology tools need to come together, which is driving a lot of what Microsoft does,” said chief privacy officer Brendon Lynch.
Microsoft also said consumers’ preference for privacy through technology is in-line with its recent decision to implement tracking protection lists for Internet Explorer. However, judging by the results of the survey, it doesn’t seem like much is going to change. When asked “what activities are you willing to trade privacy for ease of use” nearly 50% of US respondents said “shopping,” while almost 40% said gaming, social networking and banking. It’s clear there’s a long way to go before people’s expectations of privacy match-up with their actual online behaviour and attitudes.