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3 of 5 Taiwanese unable to address online hazards

Taiwan’s internet environment is plagued by high privacy risks, severe data monopoly, and rampant misleading information, according to a survey by Mozilla.

Based on survey results, 62% of the respondents are neither clearly aware of the risks of privacy breaches, pervasive collection and abusive use of personal data and fake news/information, nor taking definitive action to address the risks.

Moreover, the younger respondents are found to have less awareness and action than the older ones against data monopoly.

Findings show that respondents have a higher level of awareness about the issue of data monopoly (86%) than misleading information (78%) and privacy risks (50%).

Also, they take more action in tackling the issue of privacy risks (76%) than those of misleading information (71%) and data monopoly (56%).

With the hazard of “data monopoly” registering the highest level of awareness and yet least action among the respondents, the findings reveal that while most know their personal data may be collected and used by a few tech firms, they take no action to protect their own interests.

Meanwhile, although the respondents are most aggressive in their action against “privacy risks”, they are least vigilant about such risks, reflecting that internet users in general are unsure of how to choose secure platforms and services to safeguard personal information even though their online behaviours do not undermine their privacy. 

Further, despite the buzz around fake news/information in Taiwan, the survey shows that 43% of the respondents say they would believe any online content citing expert opinions.

“We always take the initiative to improve our own wellbeing when we find ourselves exposed to health hazards,” said Stan Leong, VP and general manager of emerging markets at Mozilla. “Similarly, it is time we also wake up to the risks of the three major hazards to internet health.”