The Privacy Paradox
By Anna Allgaier
The average millennial spends a minimum of six hours a day online and over two-thirds of us are, smartphone users. We trade our data in daily to companies such as Apple, Facebook and Google for social benefits; we share more than any generation has before us.
Digital privacy concerns have flooded headlines globally and have been at the forefront of media discussion. In the past few years, we’ve watched the Snowden revelations, Wikileaks, The News International phone hacking scandal, The Sony Hack, The Ashley Madison hack and we’ve witnessed a dramatic rise in third parties hoarding and using our data for reasons we are not always fully aware of. However, these things have also brought us The EU Data Protection Reform, The Right to be Forgotten and a sudden rise in companies improving/increasing the work that goes into protecting us. We have more reason than ever to be clever with our data and yet, most of us have never read the Terms and Conditions and blindly accept them. What good is digital literacy if it’s not implemented? Perhaps this isn’t laziness at all, though; perhaps we are simply disheartened and cynical with the current state of affairs. In the UK, we are the most watched nation in the world and between our browsing histories, financial transactions, travel cards and mobile data there is no way of escaping the eye of surveillance or the risk of a breach. It is no longer a case of “if it happens to me”, it’s “when it happens to me.”
Trustev recently found that out of 1,000 Millennials, 88% of them did not trust Tinder, and only 22% trusted Snapchat. Yet, they still use the apps. It is well known that specific companies know far more about us than is necessary. So why don’t we just stop using them? They’ve become so ingrained in our daily routine that it’s difficult to delete them, and when we haven’t personally been affected by a hack or a breach it’s easy to bury our heads in the sand. Atomik Research surveyed over 2,000 16 to 35-year-olds and uncovered that “a quarter accessed more than 20 different password protected websites. Forty-five percent said they only changed their passwords when it was required and only six percent felt their data was secure based on the password policies of the websites accessed.”
We are holding a forum on Wednesday 23rd September on the importance of data literacy, join us to continue the discussion.