Users May Soon Ditch US-based Internet Cos, Courtesy Snowden

by CXOtoday News Desk    Oct 30, 2014

data breach

On the heels of Edward Snowden’s advice to switch from Dropbox, Facebook and Google to services that place a high priority on security and privacy, F-Secure has released a report that shows that consumers are considering cutting US-Based Internet services, primarily due to increased privacy concerns.

In a recent video interview, whistleblower Snowden cautioned viewers, saying such major Internet services are dangerous and should be avoided. In fact, 53 percent of survey respondents said they’d be willing to switch from services like Google to other more private services to avoid search-based profiling. Additionally, 56 percent of people also said they have become more wary of US-based Internet services in the past year. Furthermore, 46 percent of people said they would be willing to pay to be sure that none of their personal data transits via the US. And 70 percent said they are concerned about the potential of mass surveillance by intelligence agencies in countries through which their data may be passing.

When it comes to trying to protect personal privacy, 68 percent of respondents said they try to do so at least some of the time through the use of private browsing or incognito mode or by encrypting their communications. And 57 percent of people said they are not okay with companies using their profile data in exchange for getting a free service.

Germany, Brazil and the Philippines showed some of the highest levels of concern about data privacy. As an example, when asked whether they’ve changed some of their Internet habits in recent months due to increased concerns about data privacy, an average of 56 percent of people said they had: 45 percent in the UK, 47 percent in the US, and 49 percent in France, and going even higher to 60 percent in Germany and 67 percent in both Brazil and the Philippines.

“The results of the survey show that the opinion climate is changing,” said Samu Konttinen, executive vice president, Consumer Security at F-Secure.

“People are concerned, the messages are getting through. The security industry is a trust game and many of our peers are now compromised. For people who are ready to start using more private, secure services, F-Secure has some great options and we have no back doors to anyone, he added.