New Zealanders see social media providers as the least
trustworthy organisations for keeping personal details
private, despite more Kiwis signing up to Facebook.
The Privacy Commission has released the results of a survey
on individual privacy and personal information, showing Kiwis
are becoming more worried about privacy issues.
Social media sites came last in a survey of trustworthiness,
with 69 per cent of respondents saying they regarded
platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as either
highly or somewhat untrustworthy.
Half of respondents said they had become more worried about
privacy in the past few years.
Executive Director of NetSafe Martin Cocker said people were
getting wiser about the need to be cautious when sharing
information on social networking services.
"Some examples of different services treating privacy with
disdain have become public and consumers have become wary,"
But he said the big social media sites were not the worst
"Today [Facebook's] behaviour is better than most. There's
lots of lots of smaller sites and apps that people jump on
that either have no particular concern for your privacy or
will deliberately exploit your privacy for their benefit."
Sixty-one per cent of respondents used Facebook, up 7 per
cent since the previous survey in 2012.
Of those, 77 per cent said they had changed their privacy
settings, an increase of 3 per cent on the last survey, and
11 per cent from 2010.
Privacy Commissioner John Edwards said that figure was
"I think this shows more sophistication about the use of
those platforms [social networking sites]."
Mr Edwards said there were always risks when using sites that
request personal information, but the survey results show
people are managing those risks.
The two privacy issues that concern people the most are what
children put on the internet and the security of personal
information on the internet in general.
The health sector was rated the most trustworthy, with 92 per
cent of respondents rating health service providers as
Eighty-four per cent of respondents thought the police were
trustworthy, while 37 per cent trusted businesses trading
Despite many well-publicised privacy breaches, 60 per cent of
respondents thought ACC was highly or somewhat trustworthy -
a figure on par with other insurance providers.
The survey results have been released to coincide with the
launch of Privacy Week, an annual event organised by the
Office of the Privacy Commissioner to raise privacy awareness
among the public and organisations.
The survey is based on a telephone survey of 750 people aged
18 years and over and was carried out from March 13 to 17.
New Zealanders' top privacy concerns
What children post on the internet: 85 per cent
Credit card or banking details being stolen: 83 per cent
Businesses sharing information with other businesses without
permission: 81 per cent
Identity theft: 75 per cent
Government agencies sharing information with other agencies
without permission: 67 per cent
Surveillance by overseas government agencies: 63 per cent
Surveillance by New Zealand government agencies: 52 per cent