Personal Data and Trust: what are the strategies of French Citizen-Consumers in 2017?

The Chair Values and Policies of Personal Information of Institut Mines-Télécom has joined forces with Médiamétrie to carry out a survey of how French Internet users manage their personal data. The survey, completed in March 2017, covering 2,000 respondents representative of French Web users, was carried out at a time when the degree of trust placed in the Internet is gradually being undermined, in view of abusive data collection practices, and the surveillance put in place by certain states or private sector companies.

Trust is crucial for people to live together harmoniously in society, and for the development of the digital economy, which needs to gather data from Web users. It is thus necessary to determine the extent to which Web users are prepared to share their data, and with whom. In addition, there is another question: do individuals just passively accept the practices of the major Internet players, or do they, on the contrary, react by developing new behaviours, particularly by using protection tools such as browser extensions that block advertisements and prevent the collection of their personal data? What is the impact of these new personal data management behaviours on the way people express themselves online, search for information and buy products?

This document provides key findings and insights into the survey which consisted of more than 50 questions overall, and is an initial attempt to analyse a complex social question: what do we mean by trust in a digital context?

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