Public still likes its privacy according to new poll

The question of people’s attitudes to privacy has been in the news following Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s comments that, “People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people” and that sharing, rather than privacy, is the new “social norm”.

However, the British public still greatly value their privacy according to a poll commissioned by the Sunday Times from YouGov:

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of social networking site ‘Facebook’, said recently that privacy is no longer a social norm because people have become comfortable with sharing a wider range of information than ever before. Do you agree or disagree with him that privacy matters less than it used to?

Agree: 30%
Disagree: 63%

The figures vary noticeably across generations with 70% of those aged 55+ disagreeing, but even amongst 18-34 year olds 53% still disagree.

Moreover, 71% are worried about their private information falling into the hands of others online.

The lesson for companies operating online is to be careful with people’s data, not just for the obvious legal reasons but because action that is legal can still be unpopular if people feel it infringes their privacy. Too clever marketing can fall into this category.

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