Understanding privacy and information-sharing online

It’s important to study New Zealanders’ online behaviours—personal information has become the main currency for all sorts of online interactions.

Understanding privacy and information-sharing in the digital age

“It’s important to study New Zealanders’ online behaviours because the internet’s not going away,” says Professor Miriam Lips.

“Personal information is increasingly the currency for all sorts of interactions we have—our work, shopping, learning, communication with family and friends—everything. Also, government and businesses are becoming ‘digital-by-default’ in their service provision.”

In general, people’s online behaviours were dynamic and changed over time, for instance as a result of a bad online experience.

She found that participants do not understand what is happening with their data online, and that people had become more private online over time. Furthermore, she found that 75 percent of New Zealanders do not read or understand online privacy policies.

“That’s why we need to find out what information is being shared with whom and under what conditions, how our online behaviours are changing over time, and what bad online experiences look like—this will help us to better understand how we might be able to better protect our personal information and stay private and safe online.

It will also assist government, businesses and non-profit organisations to determine what they need to do to support people to use the internet in a safe and protected way.”

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