Pew Research Center releases study on the future of online privacy

Pew Research Center releases study on the future of online privacy

On Thursday, Pew Research Center and Elon University's Imagining the Internet Center released the findings of a new study on the future of online privacy. According to the study, tech experts are largely of the opinion that online life is public by nature, and the boundaries between privacy and public information will blur in the coming years.

The experts surveyed by Pew for the study were divided on their viewpoint on whether a "secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure" will be created by politicians and the tech industry by 2025 to allow for business innovation and monetization, while also ensuring that accessible data-protection options are available to people.

In response to the question about whether an accepted privacy-rights infrastructure would exist in the next ten years, 55 percent of the over 2,500 participants in the Pew study replied in the negative, while 45 percent answered in the positive.

However, the responses of the survey participants had some common threads. Most experts agreed that security and privacy are "foundational issues of the digital world," and that the online sharing of personal details by people is essentially driven by the aspect of convenience.

In his response, Bob Briscoe - British Telecom's chief researcher in networking and infrastructure - said that "lack of concern about privacy stems from complacency;" and elaborated: "Most people's life experiences teach them that revealing their private information allows commercial (and public) organizations to make their lives easier (by targeting their needs), whereas the detrimental cases tend to be very serious but relatively rare."

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