Survey: 73% want ‘Big Tech’ regulated

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Seven in ten people (73 per cent) want governments to do more to regulate Big Tech companies amid concerns with how their personal data is being used, an Amnesty International poll has revealed.

People worried about the collection of their personal data are most concerned with the violation of their right to privacy (62 per cent), and the loss of control over their data (59 per cent). Of those who said they are worried, almost a third (32 per cent) fear their data could be used by state authorities to target them.

Using data to create detailed profiles of people for the purpose of selling targeted advertising is seen as a major problem by nearly eight in ten people (77 per cent). When asked to explain why, six in ten said (59 per cent) it was an invasion of privacy.

More than half (53 per cent) are concerned people could be unfairly influenced with political advertising without their knowledge. Nearly half (48 per cent) also felt that advertisers would target people when they are at their most vulnerable.

Tanya O’Carroll, Director of Amnesty Tech, said: ”The poll results are stark and consistent – a clear majority of people are worried about the power Big Tech has over their lives. People are hankering for governments to do more to regulate these corporate giants. The results are a damning indictment of how Big Tech companies harvest and use our personal data. People want to see an end to tech companies trampling over our right to privacy.

“Scandals like Cambridge Analytica’s illicit harvesting of millions of people’s personal data have seriously damaged public trust in tech companies. Governments need to take action on the manipulation of targeted online political advertising. Our poll shows that people simply don’t trust Big Tech to determine the terms of political debate,” she added

The poll, conducted by YouGov, asked nearly 10,000 people for their opinions on online privacy across nine countries: Brazil, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Norway, South Africa and the US.

Almost half of those polled (49 per cent) are more cautious about how they share their personal information online. Over a third (37 per cent) avoid certain search terms or web pages because they are concerned about tracking, while the same percentage of people (37 per cent) elected not to use a platform because of data privacy concerns. This shows that online corporate surveillance is having a chilling on people’s ability to access the digital world. Nearly a third (32 per cent) use tools to limit online tracking.


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