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A new survey by UNCTAD, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has revealed that people are losing trust in the internet when it comes to online shopping and general ecommerce. Released today, it revealed that 49% of people were increasingly concerned about their privacy online, with the main issues stopping them from shopping online more being a lack of trust.

The survey, entitled the 2017 CIGI-Ipsos Global Study on Internet Security and Trust is the third such survey in the past three years and was carried out across 24 countries.

Which Countries Have Seen The Concern About Online Privacy Rise Over The Past 12 Months?

According to the 2017 CIGI-Ipsos Global Study on Internet Security and Trust, the countries that were seeing a rise in concern over online privacy were:

  • Egypt (72%)
  • Hong Kong (China) (70%)
  • India (70%)
  • South Africa (70%)
  • Brazil (65%)
  • Mexico (63%)
  • Indonesia (61%)
  • Nigeria (61%)
  • USA (60%)
  • Australia (57%)
  • South Korea (57%)
  • Kenya (56%)
  • China (55%)
  • Turkey (54%)
  • France (52%)
  • Canada (51%)
  • Italy (51%)
  • Poland (51%)
  • Japan (50%)
  • Great Britain (49%)
  • Germany (46%)
  • Sweden (43%)
  • Tunisia (42%)
  • Pakistan (23%)

What Are The Sources Of Rising Concern About Online Privacy?

The survey looked at what was driving the rising concerns about online privacy and the most common reasons cited were:

  • Cybercriminals – 82%
  • Internet Companies – 74%
  • Government – 65%

Of those citing cybercriminals, Indonesia had the highest incidence with 96% of people saying they were increasing their online concerns closely followed by South Africa (91%), Mexico (90%), Brazil (86%), the US (86%), Canada (85%) and Great Britain (85%).

Regional Differences In Ecommerce Behaviour

The report also highlighted some interesting and important regional differences across the globe concerning attitudes to purchasing goods online. Whilst In France, Germany and Japan, smartphones were used to make mobile payments less than 30 percent of the time, in China, Indonesia and and India however, over 86 percent of those responding to the survey expected to make a payment on their smartphone in the next 12 months.

Calls To Act Now

Talking about the survey and the rising lack of trust in ecommerce, Fen Osler Hampson from CIGI (The Centre for International Governance Innovation) said:

“The lifeblood of the Internet is trust, and when that is damaged, the consequences for the digital economy are nearly irreparable. The results of this global survey offer a glimpse into why policymakers should be concerned, and why there is a strong link between user trust and the health of e-commerce.”

Sally Wentworth, Vice President of Global Policy for the Internet Society, called for organisations and governments to act now to build stronger online trust:
“Nearly 50 percent of Internet users surveyed do not trust the Internet and this lack of trust is affecting the way they use it. The findings of this year’s CIGI-Ipsos survey underscore the importance of taking action now to build stronger online trust by addressing users’ concerns and using technologies such as encryption to secure communications.”

Scott Bretton

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