Slowly Shifting Privacy Attitudes: Five Years of Measuring Public Opinion across 22 Countries

Monday, February 01, 2021 - 1:15 pm1:45 pm

Patrick Kelley, Google


The last five years have been tumultuous for privacy.

Growing awareness of data breaches, scandals around data use such as Cambridge Analytica, and the introduction of new legislation, including the wide reaching General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have led to privacy being an ever present part of headlines and conversation. However, in our longitudinal, brand-blind, international public opinion surveys of nearly 70,000 respondents across 22 countries, we see remarkably stable attitudes around most privacy concepts.

Understanding global privacy attitudes is key to building privacy-protecting services and products, shaping new legislation, and simply keeping apace on how the public thinks about these topics. We record public attitudes on topics such as government surveillance, freedom of expression, cyberbullying, whistleblowing, extremist content, and many other topics.

For the first time we will be presenting all five waves of survey responses, opening up this important data resource, to the audience at ENIGMA, showing the stability of this data, highlighting the areas where we have seen change, defining the range of opinions between different countries, and finally emphasizing where the public is still optimistic about the future of privacy, and of their ability to protect their own data.

Patrick Kelley, Google

Patrick Gage Kelley is a researcher at Google focusing on security, privacy, and anti-abuse topics. He has worked on projects on the use and design of standardized, user-friendly privacy displays, passwords, location-sharing, mobile apps, encryption, and technology ethics. Patrick’s work on redesigning privacy policies in the style of nutrition labels was included in the 2009 Annual Privacy Papers for Policymakers event on Capitol Hill. Most recently, Apple recently revived this work with their newly announced App Privacy Labels.

Previously, he was a professor of Computer Science at the University of New Mexico and faculty at the UNM ARTSLab and received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University working with the Mobile Commerce Lab and the CyLab Usable Privacy and Security (CUPS) Lab. He was an early researcher at Wombat Security Technologies, now a part of Proofpoint, and has also been at NYU, Intel Labs, and the National Security Agency.

@conference {264110,
author = {Patrick Kelley},
title = {Slowly Shifting Privacy Attitudes: Five Years of Measuring Public Opinion across 22 Countries},
year = {2021},
address = {Oakland, CA},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = feb,