Kenyans, however, it seems don’t give a hoot about freely sharing their information while using the internet, a global survey has found out.
According to a new report released on Wednesday by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Kenyans are least bothered by security of personal data posted online and only four in every 10 internet users in Kenya are concerned about their privacy online.
“While there appears to be increasing concerns about data privacy and online security around the world, there is somewhat a ‘data privacy paradox’, as users continue to give away personal data and thus their privacy in exchange for different services,” says UNCTAD Digital Economy report.
This is the lowest level in the world according to the report and ranks poorly against the global average of eight in every 10 users.
“The lowest level of concern was noted in Kenya at 44 per cent.” The report states.
UNCTAD’s conclusion is based on findings of the 2019 Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust on 25,229 internet users in select 25 countries in the world between December 21, 2018, and February 10, 2019.
Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt were the only countries in Africa selected for the survey conducted by Paris-headquartered global research firm, Ipsos, on behalf of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in partnership with UNCTAD and the Internet Society.
Facebook and Twitter are the main culprits
Social media platforms such Facebook and Twitter were cited as the second biggest sources of distrust of the internet, only second to cyber criminals.
“Many of these services (internet searches, social media and online reservations) are offered by various platforms free of charge or on a take-it-or-leave-it basis,” UNCTAD says.
“This situation has been described as someone who is not paying for a product, becomes the product. Therefore, paradoxically, privacy becomes part of the economy.”
To further complicate matters, Kenya does not have a data protection law, something that has made citizens suspicious of the State’s data collection efforts such as recent biometric (Huduma Namba) registration and national census.
Kenya’s indifference about security of personal data is mind boggling
Kenyans indifference about their privacy online is mind boggling since Cyber security attacks are estimated to have cost Kenya’s economy about Sh29.5 billion ($295 million) in 2018, a 39.15% jump from Sh21.2 billion ($212 million) in 2017, tech consultancy firm, Serianu, said in May.
In July this year, Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), also announced that Kenyan firms were hit by about 11.2 million cyber threats between January and March this year, a 10.1 percent rise compared with a year earlier.