Technology and new means of communication have changed our lives for the better and this is something that is under the eyes of all. But as always (or almost) happens in the face of such important innovations there is always a price to pay, something to give back in a certain sense. And in this case we talk about privacy. But, in spite of everything, the principle that a user has the possibility to “let people know only what he really wants to know” and not everything, the privacy is still an aspect that worries and not little users around the world. Users, all of us, need to be more aware of privacy. But the problem exists when you want to use those services born and developed thanks to technology.
This premise was a must because the study we want to present today also deals with this. And so we’ll see if and how Privacy is experienced as a problem to be solved. The study was carried out by Microsoft and is titled “Views from Around the Globe: 2nd Annual Poll on Personal Technology Is Changing Our Lives”, a research carried out in 12 countries (Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan , Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the United States) presented in Davos where the World Economic Forum is also held this year. The interviewed users are 12 thousand and all internet users (interviewed between December 17, 2014 and January 1, 2015). The survey was not carried out in Italy, but it is still extremely interesting.
For the majority of users interviewed, technology is making the world a better place to live, greatly improving the conditions and situations with which we measure ourselves every day like work, how to shop and even how to communicate, an absolutely relevant aspect. But from the research there are some differences from the point of view of the attitude between the users of the developed countries and the users of the emerging economies (how to define the countries that previously defined themselves as developing). In practice, while the users of the emerging economies live the news praising the advantages that these entail, such as the social impact, the impact on the economy and the opportunities that arise from this, users in developed countries, so where the technology is much more present, expressing concerns instead, especially in terms of Privacy.
How Technology Is Changing Our Lives
in all 12 countries, users think that technology has a positive impact in the search for more accessible products and the possibility of being able to start new businesses. They also argue that benefits are seen in the greater use of social media and in business innovation;
- the majority of users believe that “personal technologies” have increased their productivity;
- compared to the last edition of the study, many users claim that technology has had positive effects in transport and also in literacy; while there are fewer users who say that technologies have had a positive effect on social ties, personal freedoms and politics, in terms of expression;
- the concern for privacy has had a significant leap. In fact, in 11 countries out of 12, users have claimed that the effect of technology on privacy has been negative. The majority of users claim that the levels of protection for the users themselves are insufficient. Only in India and Indonesia are users aware of the information collected.
As we have said before, the research reveals some differences between developed and emerging economies. In fact, 60% of users in emerging economies think that new technologies have had a positive impact on their social links; in developed countries the percentage stops at 36%. 59% of users in emerging economies think that sharing economy services such as Uber and Airbnb are better than traditional services. In developed countries, only 33% of users think this way. 59% of users state that thanks to technology they have an interest in working in the sciences, technologies, engineering and mathematics sectors. This percentage rises to 85% among users in developed countries. In particular, 77% of women in emerging economies states that they feel encouraged to work in those sectors (in English, STEM); among women in developed countries this percentage drops to 46%.