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Americans Willing To Pay More For Privacy On Social Media And Smartphones, Researcher Finds

Ajit Ghuman said Americans generally would pay more for full privacy — including on smartphone purchases.

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Ajit Ghuman with Broadband Breakfast reporter Derek Shumway

May 13, 2021 – A study by a marketing expert found Americans are willing to pay more for full data privacy on social media and their smartphones, which he said could pave the way for a new class of companies that could fulfil those privacy needs.

In an interview with Broadband Breakfast, Ajit Ghuman, who runs marketing at customer engagement platform Narvar, sat down to discuss why Americans are willing to pay extra for privacy when it comes to their smartphone uses, and why men are particularly willing to pay more than double than women for full privacy on social media.

The definition of full privacy in this study means customer data cannot be sold to advertisers and is not kept by the company.

Ghuman was curious to know if people were willing to pay for privacy, and if so, how much they would pay. This led him to personally research the issue outside of his professional work and he has since compiled his findings in a book he wrote.

Ghuman reported in the book that “when it comes to social media services, men said they are willing to pay $10 per month on average for full privacy, whereas women indicated they are only willing to pay $4 per month.”

Women willing to pay more than men on smartphone privacy

When it comes to smartphone use, however, women were more willing than males to pay for full phone privacy at $33 vs $15.

Though the study focuses on what people are willing to pay rather than the reasons behind their willingness to pay, Ghuman hypothesized one reason could be due to the level of “ID” exposure in one’s job. Men are probably exposed to more ID jobs, which are jobs that require lots of identifying information and data about the worker.

When faced with a decision on buying a smartphone, “Americans indicated they are willing to pay $30 on average on top of an averagely priced smartphone ($580) for full privacy.” Though complete details explaining what one might view as “full privacy” is not discussed, Ghuman noted that because privacy these days comes with a lot of conditions, “we really don’t know to what extent data is private.”

Ghuman found that “Americans over the age of 25 are willing to pay more for privacy than those that are younger.” One possible explanation for this is because people want to hold on to their jobs.

“The most privacy conscious consumers (measured by willingness to pay) live in the Northeast of the U.S. while the least privacy conscious by a large margin live in the Midwest,” Ghuman found.

Born in China and adopted to American Fork, Utah, Reporter Derek Shumway graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor's degree in political science and a minor in international strategy and diplomacy. At college, he started an LED lightbulb company. word

Cybersecurity

Biden On Lookout for Cyberattacks with Russia Massing on Border of Ukraine

The president says that, in the past, Russia has taken covert military actions.

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Photo of President Joe Biden on Thursday

WASHINGTON, January 20, 2022 – President Joe Biden said Thursday that the administration will be on the lookout for Russian cyberattacks in Ukraine as Russia’s President Vladimir Putin may be edging closer to invading Ukrainian territory.

Biden warned that, in the past, Russia has launched aggressive computer attacks that, while perhaps falling short of overt military action, have been daunting cyber-offensives of “military” officials not wearing Russian uniforms.

The comments came at the beginning of Thursday’s meeting of Biden’s Infrastructure Implementation Task Force. Biden briefly addressed rising tensions surrounding Ukraine.

Many critics of Russia, including Biden, have said that they Putin will pounce.

During his remarks, Biden said Moscow would “pay a heavy price” should it move any Russian troops across the Ukrainian border.

Following his foreign policy comments, Biden turned his attention to the planned task force talks on implementing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed on November 15, 2022.

He turned to former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the administration’s unofficial “infrastructure czar,” to offer comments on the administration’s progress to press.

Biden specifically addressed the law’s implications for ongoing supply chain issues.

Since the back half of 2021, the world has faced historic shipping delays on a variety of commercial goods as global manufacturing systems continue struggling to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic and workforce shortages exacerbated by it.

Specifically, the tech industry has faced chronic shortages of semiconductor chips, perhaps worse than most other commodities. The shortages have crippled many digital industry supply chains. products.

Biden said that with the infrastructure law investment in physical infrastructure, including additional highways to alleviate traffic on the nation’s roads, will allow goods to be transported faster through existing supply chains.

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Cybersecurity

Telework Here to Stay, But Devices Need Beefed Up Security

The future of teleworking will need upgraded security.

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Allen McNaughton, sales director at Infoblox

WASHINGTON, January 19, 2022 – Remote work is here to stay, but that means getting up to speed on securing websites is critical, said a director at an information technology security company Wednesday.

At a Business of Federal Technology event, which posed the question “is hybrid forever?,” Kiran Ahuja, director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, said “hybrid remote work and telework policies are clearly helping not only federal agencies, but literally every single office, company, and organization in this country.”

But while Allen McNaughton, sales director at security company Infoblox, agreed that telehealth is “here to stay, no doubt about it,” he also made clear that the reality of hybrid work is not effective without protected technology.

“When you have telework, when you have people that can work anywhere in the world, the world is now your attack surface,” says McNaughton. McNaughton noted that there is now a greater opportunity for hackers to install malware on unsecure devices.

The country has already been gripped by high-profile cyberattacks, including on software company SolarWinds, oil transport company Colonial Pipeline, and meat producer JBS USA.

Some of the attackers simply gained access because devices had simple default passwords, raising concern among security experts about how prepared people are for full-time remote work and school.

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Privacy

Federal Communications Commissioner Starks Seeks to Encourage Democratic Principles Online

The commissioner noted the peril democracy and citizen privacy finds themselves in around the world.

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Federal Communications Commissioner Geoffrey Starks

WASHINGTON, January 14, 2021 – Speaking at an event hosted by Bridge for Innovation on Tuesday, Federal Communications Commissioner Geoffrey Starks says the private sector must lead in the fight to promote democracy and digital privacy rights online.

With increasing challenges to democracy around the world and citizen surveillance efforts by several international governments, as well as domestic concerns over privacy on social media platforms, Starks says private sector entities should work to set standards which promote democratic principles and privacy for citizens.

Just this month, Facebook faced a lawsuit – which it won – over access of third-party companies such as Cambridge Analytica, the British political consulting firm made famous when it was investigated in connection with alleged Russian interference and collusion in the 2016 United States presidential election, to users’ personal data.

Starks also emphasized that international diplomatic and regulatory bodies play a key role in upholding these norms.

He stated that China is looking to step up its role in these international bodies in attempts to influence policy to gain greater control over its citizens’ political activities and limit their privacy rights online.

At the beginning of November, President Joe Biden’s administration announced an initiative with several international allies to share information on surveillance programs of authoritarian regimes, with key focus landing on actions of the Chinese government.

Additionally, Biden said he would take action to limit U.S. exports to China of technology that  China uses for surveillance efforts.

U.S. technologies are on record being used in China for citizen surveillance, military modernization and persecution of Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

Looking to domestic broadband expansion efforts following the enactment of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Starks said the FCC will soon be collecting and posting pricing information from internet service providers which participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program.

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