A recent survey on Internet Security and Trust conducted by global research company Ipsos and commissioned by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) revealed that with 87% number of internet users in India thinking affordable access to the Internet should be a basic human right is higher than the global average of 83%. The results of the new survey were presented in Ottawa, Canada last week.

Some interesting results revealed by the survey:

• 2/3rds of internet users this year are more concerned about online privacy in comparison to last year (64%).
• Given a choice of various governance sources for the Internet, 57% opted for a multi-stakeholder model “of technology companies, engineers, non-governmental organizations and institutions representing the interests and will of ordinary citizens, and governments.”
• With 79%, trust of multi-stakeholder governance of the Internet in India was higher than the global average.

• The top areas of concern for global Internet users are:-

1) Criminal hacking into personal bank accounts (78%)
2) Stolen personal information like private messages and photos through hacking (77%)
3) Private companies monitoring the activities of Internet users and then selling that information for commercial purposes without explicit consent (74%).

“The remarkable findings of this survey of global attitudes dramatically underscore that fears about human security have moved from the physical world to now include the virtual world. There is a gaping trust deficit in the Internet as people around the globe increasingly worry that their online identities and communications will be compromised or stolen by those who operate in the dark recesses of the Internet,” says Fen Hampson, Director of CIGI’s Global Security & Politics Program.

“Unless trust is restored in the Internet through creative governance innovations its real potential to promote human development and global prosperity will be severely compromised.”

Key facts on outlook of Internet users internationally:

On access:

• 83% believe affordable access to the Internet should be a basic human right.
• 81% think Internet is important for their own economic future and livelihood.

On privacy and monitoring:

• 64% give more importance to their online privacy compared to one year ago.
• 36% find private information on the Internet to be very secure.
• 74% find private companies monitoring online activities and selling that information for commercial purposes without explicit consent to be really very concerning.
• 62% don’t like government agencies from other countries to secretly monitor their online activity while 61% find even their government agencies secretly monitoring their online activity to be concerning.

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On cyber attacks and censorship:

• 72% are really worried about important institutions in their country being cyber-attacked by a foreign government or terrorist organization.
• 78% are concerned about a criminal hacking into their personal bank accounts.
• 77% find someone hacking into their online accounts and stealing personal information like photos and private messages to be a really very big issue.
• 64% are concerned about governments censoring the Internet.

Source: CIGI

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