The New Internet World: A Global Perspective on Freedom of Expression, Privacy, Trust and Security Online
INSEAD - Technology and Operations Management
William H. Dutton
Quello Center, Michigan State University
April 14, 2011
The Gobal Information Technology Report 2010-2011 – World Economic Forum in collaboration with INSEAD, comScore, and the Oxford Internet Institute, April 2011
Worldwide diffusion of the Internet is focusing debate around values and attitudes that are likely to vary across cultures, particularly around online freedom of expression, privacy, trust and security. However, we know relatively little about the opinions of users around the world. How do users see these issues, and how are they experiencing the impact of the Internet in these areas? This paper reports on a survey of over 5,400 adult Internet users from thirteen different countries, who participated in an online survey conducted by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and INSEAD, in collaboration with Comscore. The survey was designed to better understand cross-cultural differences in user behaviour and attitudes, focusing on freedom of expression, privacy, trust, and security. Findings from this study show that a global Internet culture has emerged as users across countries often share similar viewpoints and habits related to these vital matters pertaining to the Internet. Users worldwide generally support and desire freedom of expression, privacy, trust and security online, without signalling a willingness for tradeoffs among these potentially conflicting values and priorities. However, users in the newly adopting countries, which are becoming the dominant online population, express even greater support for the most basic value underpinning the Internet – freedom of expression. In addition, the users in nations that are more recently embracing the Internet are also outpacing users in older adopting nations in their innovative uses of the Internet. We conclude that a new Internet world is emerging which may lead to many shifts in the Internet’s global centre of gravity – ones that will have major implications for the future of the Internet.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 36
Keywords: Internet, Freedom, Privacy, Trust, Security, Public Opinion
Date posted: April 17, 2011
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