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Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey 2017 Released


Australians are concerned about online privacy, but are not using options already available to protect themselves. That’s the key finding from a national survey released today by the Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner — who says both businesses and consumers “have work to do”.

The 2017 Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey, released for Privacy Awareness Week reveals that 69 per cent of Australians say they feel more concerned about their online privacy than they did five years ago, and 83 per cent believe privacy risks are greater online than offline. However, the survey also shows that Australians do not use existing privacy tools to protect themselves online as well as they could.

The Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, says both individual responsibility and better business practice have a role to play to ensure Australians get the best privacy protection.

‘While 61 per cent of us check website security, our results found that over 65 per cent of Australians do not read privacy policies, and half do not regularly adjust privacy settings on social media, or clear their browsing history.’

‘For businesses, these results show there is still work to do to make privacy easy for customers to manage. Those long-winded privacy notices and complex settings need to be replaced by clear language and point-in-time notifications.’

‘Some are doing this well, but others need to lift their game, because our survey shows the majority of Australians have decided not to deal with a business due to privacy concerns.’

The survey found that Australians believe the biggest risks to privacy are:

  • Online services (including social media): 32 per cent
  • ID fraud and theft: 19 per cent
  • Data breaches and security: 17 per cent
  • Risks to financial data: 12 per cent.

The survey also found Australians are uncomfortable with businesses sharing their personal information with other organisations (79 per cent) and are concerned about organisations sending personal information overseas (93 per cent).

Access the full report: Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey 2017.