Thursday, October 25, 2007

OCLC report on privacy and trust

I grabbed the report the other day but only had the chance to barely skim it. It's obviously full of valuable data, and the visualization graphics are great.

I liked these stats, because I have long tried to make the argument that online interactions are becoming ubiquitous:

Browsing/purchasing activities: Activities considered as emerging several years ago, such as online banking, have been used by more than half of the total general public respondents. Over 40% of respondents have read someone’s blog, while the majority have browsed for information and used e-commerce sites in the last year, a substantial increase in activity as seen in 2005. While commercial and searching activities have surged in the past two years, the use of the library Web site has declined from our 2005 study.

Interacting activities: The majority of the respondents have sent or received an e-mail and over half have sent or received an instant message. Twenty percent (20%) or more of respondents have participated in social networking and used chat rooms.

Creating activities: Twenty percent (20%) or more of respondents have used a social media site and have created and/or contributed to others’ Web pages; 17% have blogged or written an online diary/journal. (section 1-6)
It's nice to see library web sites firmly in the middle when grouped with commercial web sites used by all age groups. (section 2-8)

Data on how much private information is shared (section 2-31) is not too surprising but interesting to see quantified. People's faith in the security of personal information on the Internet (section 3-2, 3-4) is higher than mine. That younger respondents have different ideas about relative privacy of categories of data (section 3-9, 3-10, 3-35) is not surprising, but I wonder why more people aren't concerned about privacy. It's good to see trust data in addition to privacy data. (section 3-24)

Section 4 focuses on Library Directors as a category of respondents. It seems that overall they read more, have been online longer, and interact more online than the general public. They also over-estimate how important privacy is to their users.

Section 5 is on libraries and social activities.

Karen Schneider had more time, and her response is worth a read.

Section 7 is the summary if you can't face all 280 pages.

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