More and more Swedes are protecting their personal data online2022-03-24
Eight out of ten Swedish people make active choices to prevent personal data from being collected and used digitally. These are the findings of a new a survey on Swedish people’s views on digital privacy that was conducted in collaboration with researchers at CTF.
In this year’s survey, 82 percent of respondents stated that they make active choices to limit the collection of personal data, compared to 49 percent in 2016.
- Mainly middle-aged men are the ones who to the greatest extent protect their privacy, for example, with the help of VPN services, password managers or privacy settings, says Charlotte Bäccman, psychology researcher at CTF. Women, who have become more digital to a greater extent than men, are less anxious and take fewer measures to protect their personal data. They mainly protect themselves by reading the terms and conditions and rejecting site services.
Charlotte Bäccman says that although more and more people have become digitally active, as a result of the pandemic, mainly through meetings, e-commerce and work aspects, concerns about how personal data are processed have not increased. The majority describe themselves as having good knowledge of how their personal data are collected and most of them do something to limit the collection of data.
- When it comes to differences between age groups, older people worry about identity theft, while younger people worry about sensitive information being disclosed and spread digitally, says Charlotte Bäccman. Given these gender and age differences, it would be interesting to gain a better understanding of their daily internet habits and behaviour. Are these difference related to the way they use digital services, or is it about attitudes and knowledge?
Digital privacy linked to health apps
Part of the survey focused on health-related apps and services, an area that has grown strongly in recent years. Almost half of all respondents state that they use health-related apps and services on a daily basis.
- Although these services collect and process a variety of types of personal data from their users, only a small portion avoid these apps because of privacy concerns. Those who state that they do not use health-related apps or services do so simply because they have no need to use them, says Charlotte Bäccman.
The survey was conducted by Insight Intelligence in collaboration with CTF, the Agency for Digital Government and E-samverkansprogrammet. It was based on responses from 1,000 Swedish people between the ages of 16 and 70 who were interviewed through Sifo’s nationally representative web panel in January 2022. The results are published in the report “Delade Meningar 2022”.