SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft has completed a little survey of US citizens' privacy worries and wants.
It warned that while there is an awareness about the need for privacy, few actually bother with it. Eighty five percent of US citizens expressed a concern about their online privacy in the survey, but many less were found to be doing something to protect it. Fortunately Microsoft is here with some advice, tricks and tools.
Ryan Gavin, GM of Windows eased us gently into the guidance, offering a video and some soothing words about how seriously Microsoft takes this sort of stuff and how it is adopting do not track in order to give its users more control.
"At Microsoft, we take our responsibilities for protecting your privacy very seriously. It's a priority across all our businesses, and an area where we continue to work closely with others throughout academia, government and industry. And while we don't pretend to have all of the answers, we do want to help raise awareness for how you can have greater choice and control as you browse the web," wrote Gavin.
"To that end, today we are launching a new consumer awareness campaign focused on online privacy, with resources at www.Microsoft.com/YourPrivacy. We want to help people learn more about the tools and technologies Microsoft provides that give them have greater control over personal information as they browse the web and use their favorite Microsoft devices."
If you aren't sure whether this sort of thing should apply to you then you should probably complete the privacy personality test that Microsoft has provided. We were relieved to find that we did well in terms of protecting our privacy. That said, the survey did drag, and we might have started randomly clicking before the end. Still, according to Ryan the whole thing is designed to simplify what is a complicated area.
"As important as privacy is to most of us when we're asked, it can still be a complicated matter. It's part of our everyday routines to fill out profiles, login to sites, and oftentimes provide personal information like our credit card or phone numbers in order to take advantage of all the web has to offer. In fact, the more personal and relevant the web gets, the better it can get," he added.
"Yet, at some point, we all draw a line where we are uncomfortable sharing more. And when we think we're being tracked, particularly by those we may not have a direct relationship with, our tolerance drops. And while tracking isn't bad per se, we typically reach our information-sharing breaking point with very personal data, like items related to our kids or our health." µ