Though purported to be predominantly related to US-based governmental wiretapping, the disclosure of the existence of the NSA’s surveillance activities across other continents, primarily in Europe, has done little to help social media giants already struggling to secure users’ confidence over privacy protection. This is most markedly see amongst British users where, according to the latest TNS BMRB report published by eMarketer, social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest still fail to earn the confidence of as much as 60% of users.
According to the research conducted in January, 60% of internet users in Britain are concerned about social networks monitoring or collecting their information. Women are significantly more worried than men, at 63% vs. 56% respectively.
An interesting observation is the level of concern among the 25-44 age group, which is often considered as the primary target of internet economy. At 62%, this was on par with 55+ age group (apprx. 65%) often considered late adopters of internet goodies, and higher than that of 35-54 age group at around 57%. As might be expected, those in the 18-to-24 age range were the least worried about social media monitoring, at 48%, in marked contrast to 25-34 year-olds.
eMarketer further estimates that almost two-thirds of UK internet users will be social networkers by the end of the year. How this will affect levels of concern amongst the respective demographic groups will be interesting to monitor.