Following the Facebook data breach, the sentiment of Indian Internet users has taken a beating, a study suggests, as 80 per cent of respondents said they are concerned about their Aadhaar data security. The national study by market research and analysis company Velocity MR, which was conducted among 5,800 respondents, noted that 8 out of 10 people are concerned about their Aadhaar data security and feel that the government should intervene for their online data protection.
“Every netizen is leaving a trail of digital footprints with everything that they click online. From personal information, to financial data, to biometric details, all this data is accessible in some form or the other on various foreign servers that one cannot fathom,” Velocity MR Managing Director & CEO Jasal Shah said.
Shah further noted that “with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regime coming into play, it is a wake-up call for Internet companies to tighten their security policies with immediate effect.” Europe has introduced the GDPR regime that all tech companies have to adhere to.
The recent data breach episode involving US-based social networking giant Facebook and British data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica has created an awareness like never before on issues around information privacy, user rights and consent policies, nudging companies to review and strengthen their privacy protection rules.
According to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Chairman J Satyanarayana, more than 121 crore residents have been enrolled for Aadhaar and it has been used for over 19 billion authentications.
The national study that covered prominent Indian cities including Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Pune, also noted that four in every 10 respondents said their opinion about Facebook has gone down in recent months.
“One-third of respondents said that they would share lesser on Facebook, even though they will continue to be on Facebook,” the study said. Moreover, even though people believe that social media sites are not completely safe for financial transactions, they have not completely stopped using them either. The higher age group of 46-60 years is more willing to continue using Facebook as before, the study noted.