Given today’s climate when it comes to privacy and access to your personal information, you’d think that not many people would be happy to give away their personal information. However, according to a survey conducted by Ofcom, the communications regulator in the United Kingdom, the exact opposite is true, reports The Guardian.
The survey, taken of 1,890 adults over 16 years old, revealed that just under 70 percent of respondents said they were more than happy to give away their personal information when using the Internet. Keeping that percentage in mind, it’s interesting to see that one in five U.K. Internet users would not use their credit card online, while over 25 percent did not want to provide their mobile number.
Just because so many Internet users are happy to give away their personal information, however, doesn’t mean that they don’t want to feel secure when browsing the Web. 60 percent of respondents said they should be protected from inappropriate or offensive content, an increase from the 51 percent that felt the same way the previous year. 28 percent were worried by mobile apps, a concern that seems to have been validated in recent months.
The survey also shed light on Internet usage by 16-14 year olds, and revealed that this usage went from 10 hours and 24 minutes a week back in 2005 to 27 hours and 36 minutes in 2014, almost tripling in ten years, and equating to four hours a day online. This spike in Internet usage can be attributed to the advent of smartphones and tablets, which arguably took off with the introduction of the iPhone and iPad in 2007 and 2010, respectively.
We’d absolutely love to see not just a similar survey for other regions, but also whether these numbers stay similar, regardless of region. It’s no surprise that Internet usage has gone up over the years, but it is surprising that so many people will willingly hand over their personal information when the emphasis nowadays seems to be on having strict control over such information. The survey respondents, and the broader population from which they were sampled, must be weighing the benefits of Internet access against the loss of privacy, and at least for the time being, they are coming out in favor of access.