The survey of 1600 Australians explores attitudes to online privacy, surveillance, digital disruption at work, and online freedom of speech, while prompting urgent questions about rights issues in four areas: privacy, profiling and analytics; government data matching and surveillance; workplace change; and freedom of expression and speech regulation.
“Our results provide a snapshot of the nation’s attitudes and behaviours in the digital world and show Australians’ clear concerns about how their information is being used and accessed by governments, social media platforms and corporations,” said co-author Professor Ariadne Vromen.
Future transformative impacts.
Key Areas of Digital Rights
Intellectual Property (IP)
Digital Rights for Different Actors
Summary of Key Findings
- Some 47 per cent of Australians worry about government violating their privacy;
- A large majority (78 per cent) want to know how social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are using their personal data;
- Some 79 per cent say retention of phone call information is a breach of privacy;
- A majority (58 per cent) oppose a metadata retention scheme, but support lifts when this policy is framed as a law enforcement, security, or terrorism measure;
- Australians are divided about freedom of speech online. Some 37 per cent agree with being ‘free to say and do what I want online’, but 30 per cent disagree, while the remaining 33 per cent hold reservations about absolute freedom of speech online.
- Half believe they have the right to anonymity online, but opinion is divided on whether people should be free ‘to say and do what they want’, with 36 per cent agreeing and 30 per cent disagreeing with this statement.
- 39 per cent of Australians have been affected by mean of abusive remarks online, and 27 per cent have had personal information posted without their consent, 20 per cent or fewer have been affected by more serious types of attack – such as racist remarks, unwanted sexual communications, and cyber-bullying.
- A third of parents (37 per cent) have advised their child to reduce their social media use due to the behaviour of others, while almost a quarter (24 per cent) have advised their children to delete a social media account due to bullying.
View the full Digital Rights in Australia report.
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