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Attitudes to Cybersafety and Online Privacy in the Middle East


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Slides from Monthly Dialogue lecture at The Center for International and Regional Studies. Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar, presented on Tuesday, September 16th, 2014.

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Attitudes to Cybersafety and Online Privacy in the Middle East

  1. 1. Attitudes to Cybersafety and Online Privacy in the Middle East September 2014
  2. 2. Topicality
  3. 3. Are user concerns universal? US data 2014 UK consumers 2013
  4. 4. World Economic Forum Report • 5,400 adult Internet users • 13 countries “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.”
  5. 5. What we did - and how we did it
  6. 6. Areas of study 1. Usage of ICT and the Internet in the region 2. Attitudes towards the Internet 3. Concerns about safety in cyberspace 4. Trust in different online actors 5. Behaviors online
  7. 7. Methodology • Online survey of existing Internet users. • ictQATAR worked with the Oxford Internet Institute in collaboration with Cornell University. • Fieldwork by comScore and Toluna.
  8. 8. Countries covered Algeria Egypt Morocco Tunisia Iraq Jordan UAE Yemen Iran Oman Saudi Arabia Qatar Kuwait Bahrain MENA sample = 2,793 * Results from 14 countries
  9. 9. Research sample • Global sample = 8,442 * Results from 44 countries • Total Sample = 11,225 * Covers 58 countries
  11. 11. MENA VS Global 1. MENA users are less likely to shop or bank online. 2. Higher perception in MENA that “the Internet is making things better for people like me.” (49% vs. 39%) 3. Higher desire for Government role re harmful content. 4. Less worried about safety of personal online content. 5. Strongly against data repurposing.
  13. 13. GCC VS North Africa 1. GCC: more likely to access the Internet on the move. 2. GCC: greater access to technologies like tablets (70% vs. 33%) and gaming machines (62% vs. 36%). 3. North Africa: stronger sense that personal data put online is kept safe (22% vs. 15%).
  15. 15. MENA households full of technology
  16. 16. VoIP is highly prevalent The region has some of the highest take-up of video and voice calls over the Internet.
  18. 18. Generally, attitudes were… • Positive: Belief that the Internet brings benefits to people. • Safeness: Divided views on how safe the Internet is. • Government: Higher demand for Government to regulate, censor and protect Internet users from harmful content.
  19. 19. Higher belief in MENA that the Internet is “making things better”
  20. 20. Harmful content: Protecting Children
  21. 21. “Discriminatory” or “Racist” content
  22. 22. 3. LEVELS OF CONCERN
  23. 23. Areas of concern High concerns about: • Being Hacked • Misled by false information • Reputation damage Lower concerns about: • Being monitored online • Data collection
  24. 24. Concerns around data repurposing
  26. 26. Trust in Different Online Players Higher trust in… Entities who are “offline first” • Mobile and telephone providers • Government authorities • Banks and financial institutions • Health and medical providers Lower trust in… Entities that are “online first” • Social networking websites • Online search engines • Online websites and newspapers • Online marketers and advertisers
  27. 27. Trust Index
  28. 28. 5. BEHAVIOR
  29. 29. Inconsistency in claimed behaviors and actions SAY they are safety-conscious ACT safety-conscious Behaviors and Attitudes are not always aligned. Examples of potentially reckless behavior in MENA: • More likely: to open attachments from people they don’t know. • Less likely: to scan their computers/devices for viruses. • More likely: to “Friend” people they don’t know .
  30. 30. Research takeaways
  31. 31. Recap: 5 top-level MENA findings 1. Broad equivalency - access to technology compared to global averages. 2. MENA Internet users more likely to agree that “the Internet is making things better for people like me” compared to the world average. 3. They are also more supportive of the idea that Government authorities should block harmful content than users elsewhere. 4. Amongst different online players; banks and financial institutions in the region enjoy the highest levels of trust. 5. MENA Internet users are among the most likely to open attachments, documents and emails from senders they do not know.
  32. 32. What happens next?
  33. 33. These issues are not going to go away…
  34. 34. New tech = new challenges
  35. 35. 7 out of 10 fear security implications of Internet of Things 2014 study of 1,800 consumers between the ages of 20 and 50 who claim to be tech savvy in 11 countries, including the United States, Australia, China, Germany, India, and the United Kingdom.
  36. 36. Wearable Tech
  37. 37. Drones
  38. 38. Privacy entrepreneurship: Sell personal data for $8 a month Some start-ups allow you to sell your data and they then sell it on to companies.
  39. 39. New solutions to aid privacy Blackphone: Encrypted telephony and messaging, protected contact info, data storage encryption option. Confide: Chat app allows self-destructive messages and screenshot protection.
  40. 40. Taking matters into your own hands
  41. 41. Some ways we highlight issues Training Workshops
  42. 42. Ongoing Rassed research projects Stay tuned… – How Children in Qatar use ICT – Understanding emerging social media platforms – Exploring online shopping usage in Qatar
  43. 43. Thank you for listening QUESTIONS? Get your copies! Email: