New research published today by Big Brother Watch/ComRes finds that the majority of the British public are concerned about their online privacy (68%) with nearly a quarter (22%) saying that they are very concerned.
People are more likely to say that consumers are being harmed by big companies gathering large amounts of their personal data for internal use (46%) than they are to say that this enhances consumer experiences (18%).
A clear majority (66%) of the British public say that national regulators should be doing more to force Google to comply with existing European Directives on privacy and the protection of personal data
Online privacy is an important issue for a significant number of people and not enough is being done to address these fears. Google’s business is dependent on collecting more data about us and our online identities, but consumers do not trust that either Google or regulators take their privacy and wider concerns seriously enough.
People increasingly feel their interests and privacy are being ignored by large companies and advertisers motivated by profit. If regulators don’t get a grip of the situation we risk people losing trust in the digital economy and feeling they are not in control of their personal information. The long term consequences of such a collapse in trust would be dire.
Google was given four months to change its approach, with 12 “practical recommendations” published. However, on 18 February 2013, the French authority leading the investigation said “Google did not provide any precise and effective answers” and regulators will now meet on February 26 to discuss how to proceed. (Link)