Privacy Public Opinion: Conflicted in the Current Cybersecurity Environment
Bess, Jonathan C.
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Privacy public opinion is conflicted in the current cybersecurity environment. As the world becomes more interconnected in the digital realm, there is a struggle between information sharing versus the protection of that information. People are exposing more personal data for business, commerce, health and social purposes. This data is also increasingly under attack. Analysis of the number and types of privacy data breaches shows the cybersecurity environment is rapidly changing. This paper examines the relationship between public opinion on privacy as related to online habits, trust in institutions and beliefs about future cybersecurity attacks in the current cybersecurity environment. Statistical analysis of a 2016 survey covering all fifty states identified the most important predictors of privacy concerns. These were online account use, confidence in institutions and social media use. This research examining individuals’ privacy expectations, fears, and desire for security for their personal information provides useful data to influence future privacy and cybersecurity policy formulation.