skip to main content skip to main navigation skip to footer
Main Content

2016 CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust

2016 CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust

The 2016 CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust, undertaken by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and conducted by global research company Ipsos, reached 24,143 Internet users in 24 countries, and was carried out between November 20, 2015 and December 4, 2015.

The countries included:  Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States.

The global Survey was developed to help support the work of the Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG). The GCIC, an initiative by CIGI and Chatham House, was established to articulate and advance a strategic vision for the future of Internet governance.

The global Survey includes sections on: Private Sector Data PracticesGlobal TrustHacktivismthe Dark Net and Privacy versus National Security.

Private Sector Data Practices

The survey found that:

While most global citizens express concern over their personal information being bought or sold online, only half of global citizens are aware that companies providing free online services often sell personal data to governments and other companies, highlighting a lack of awareness. Data collection issues are set to be expanded as the Internet of Things becomes a growing global reality. Yet a majority of people are not bothered personal data is connected to the Internet, and an additional majority agree that the benefits outweigh the risks.

Half (49%) are aware that companies that provide free online services can sell personal data to governments and other companies
hacktivists are a nuisance
Q16. Do you know that companies that provide free online services often sell your personal data to governments and other companies? Base: All Respondents 2015 Total (n=24,143)
Eight in ten (79%) are concerned that their information may be bought or sold
hactivisit role
Q20. Thinking about this, to what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements: [I’m concerned that my information may be bought or sold] Base: All Respondents Total (n=24,143)

Global Trust

The survey found that:

Global citizens are increasingly worried about their online privacy and security, especially when it comes to how their personal data is handled by private corporations and governments. There are unanswered questions about the extent to which global citizens can trust the Internet’s limitless reach — and whose responsibility it is to govern this unchartered space.

Over eight in ten (85%) agree their government should work closely with other governments and organizations to address cyber security threats
Governments should work together
Q10. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements: [My government should work closely with other governments to address cybersecurity threats. My government should work closely with other organizations, including companies, civil society, academics, and technologists, to address cybersecurity threats.] Base: All Respondents No Offline Countries (n=20,137)
A majority (57%) of global citizens are more concerned about their online privacy compared to one year ago.
Fewer citizens are concerned about their online privacy
Q1. How concerned are you about your online privacy compared to one year ago?(Select one)
Base: All Respondents Total 2014 (n=23,376); Total 2015 (n=24,143)
Three in ten (30%) think the government is doing enough to keep personal information secure and safe from private companies.
Governments are not doing enough
Q12. Do you think that your government does enough or not enough to keep your personal information secure and safe from the following people: [Private companies] Base: All Respondents Total (n=24,143)
Over half (55%) avoid opening emails from unknown addresses, and four in ten cut down on biographically accurate information given online and/or use commercial antivirus software (39%).
Over half avoid opening unknown email
Q4. How else have you changed your behavior? (Please select all that apply.)
Base: All Respondents Total (n=24,143)
Eight in ten are concerned that their information may be bought or sold, about a lack of privacy, and that their information may be monitored.
Eight in ten concerned about their private information will be bought or sold.
Q20. Thinking about this, to what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements: [It doesn’t really bother me that almost everything seems to be connected to the internet] Base: All Respondents Total (n=24,143)
83% of global citizens appear to have changed their online behaviour in an effort to control the amount of personal information that is being shared online.
Q4. How else have you changed your behavior? (Please select all that apply.)
Base: All Respondents Total (n=24,143)

Hacktivism

The survey found that:

Sixty-six percent of global citizens believe hacktivist groups are breaking the law and should be stopped, while a sizeable portion believe that hacktivist groups should step in when no one else will hold someone accountable. If hacktivist groups operate outside of the bounds of the law and launch cyber-attacks against individuals and groups, then why do global citizens also believe that these groups are credible, last-ditch defenders of accountability? The answer may lie in the enigmatic and unpredictable nature of these actors.

Less than six in ten (56%) think hacktivists are a nuisance and provide no real value
hacktivists are a nuisance
Q8. When it comes to exposing the confidential information of various groups, do you agree or disagree with the following: [Hacktivist groups are a nuisance and provide no real value] Base: All Respondents Total (n=24,143)
Half (52%) think hacktivist groups should step in when no one else will hold someone accountable
hacktivists should step in
Q8. When it comes to exposing the confidential information of various groups, do you agree or disagree with the following: [If nobody else will keep someone accountable, hacktivist groups should step in and do the job] Base: All Respondents Total (n=24,143)
Over four in ten (43%) have a positive view of hacktivist groups
hacktivists play a positive role
Q8. When it comes to exposing the confidential information of various groups, do you agree or disagree with the following: [If nobody else will keep someone accountable, hacktivist groups should step in and do the job] Base: All Respondents Total (n=24,143)
Two thirds (66%) think hacktivists are breaking the law and should be stopped
hactivisit role
Q8. When it comes to exposing the confidential information of various groups, do you agree or disagree with the following: [Hacktivist groups are breaking the law and should be stopped] Base: All Respondents Total (n=24,143)
Hacktivists are least likely to be seen as playing an important role in keeping Internet users accountable, a slightly more important role in keeping criminal organizations and governments accountable
hactivisit role
Q9. To what extent do hacktivists play an important role or not in keeping the following accountable: [The police] Base: All Respondents Total (n=24,143)

The Dark Net

The survey found that:

Seven in ten global citizens say the “dark net” should be shut down, while three in ten disagree, believing it should continue to exist. The question remains: why do so many global citizens believe the dark net should continue to exist, if it embodies the seedy underbelly of the Internet? The answer lies in the desire of global citizens to preserve the anonymity and benefits that are also a central part of the dark net.

  • 71% of global citizens agree the dark net should be shut down.
  • 46% of global citizens trust that their activities on the Internet are not being censored.
  • 38% of global citizens trust that their activities on the Internet are not being monitored.
  • Only six in ten users say that government assurances that they are not being censored (59%) or monitored (58%) would make them trust the Internet more.

Read the news release here.


Privacy vs National Security

The survey found that:

Most global citizens favour enabling law enforcement to access private online conversations if they have valid national security reasons to do so, or if they are investigating an individual suspected of committing a crime. The survey also found that a majority of respondents do not want companies to develop technologies that would undermine law enforcement’s ability to access much needed data.

  • 70% of global citizens agree that law enforcement agencies should have a right to access the content of their citizens’ online communications for valid national security reasons, including 69% of Americans and 65% of Canadians who agree.
  • 85% of global citizens agree that when someone is suspected of a crime governments should be able to find out who their suspects communicated with online, including 80% of Americans who agree.
  • 63% of global citizens agree that companies should not develop technologies that prevent law enforcement from accessing the content of an individual's online conversations. Sixty percent of Americans and 57% of Canadians are most likely to agree with this statement.
Read the news release here.

Footer Content