This is one of those things that may seem obvious, but it’s useful to have some hard data for. The Pew Research Center in the US has been surveying Americans about whether privacy concerns would stop them from using a product or service. 52% of respondents said that they had recently decided not to use something for exactly this reason. Of those, 21% had decided not to use a website due to privacy fears, while 10% had decided not to use a social media service. The most popular reason cited was having to share general personal information in order to access a product or service.
The research comes at a time when some services (notably video-chatting tool Zoom) are exploding in popularity during the Covid-19 shutdown, while at the same time being the subject of a blizzard of coverage outlining privacy or security concerns. But there’s relevance to our world too: every so often an argument about privacy blows up around streaming services like Spotify – for example when it was dragged in to Facebook’s privacy issues in late 2018; when it was investigated by Sweden’s data-protection authority in mid-2019 over GDPR issues; and when some people bridled at its plans to track people’s location to make sure they were eligible for its family plan that autumn.
None of these mushroomed into a proper privacy scandal, but they’re a reminder that music firms face the same scrutiny over privacy and security as other digital services – and as Pew’s research makes clear, if they fall short, it could have an impact on their business.
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