Microsoft survey shows we like online shopping, worry about security

Each year, Microsoft surveys Internet users around the world. Each year, we get a pretty good sampling of what drives us as we grind through life, and an even better idea of what our concerns are on a large scale. Sourced from several digitally developed nations like South Africa, Brazil, China, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, Japan and the US, 12,002 respondents gave a good synopsis of what benefits and pitfalls the 'net has, and how it helps — and hinders — us all.

If nothing more, the Internet is seen to have a positive effect on your bank account. 74% of those questioned say the Internet at-large has had a positive effect on how much things cost.

Your .com experience is also giving way to more economic opportunity, and 68% of respondents say the Internet has had a positive effect on our ability to start a new business. Hopefully those new enterprises won't fail, either; 65% say productivity has been positively effected by the Internet.

Most of the 12,002 polled seem to think everything is great. Except privacy. As you can see in the chart above, most say the Internet has affected us positively, but privacy is still a major concern. Though we may see the Internet as creating better social bonds, most feel their aren't enough legal remedies for online privacy. Here's how Microsoft put it:

Majorities of respondents in every country but India and Indonesia say current legal protections for users of personal technology are insufficient, and only in those two countries do most respondents feel fully aware of the types of personal information collected about them. Majorities of respondents in both developed and developing countries think that the legal rights of Internet users should be governed by the local laws of the country where the users live; that if a foreign government wants information about a person stored in a datacenter in that person's country, they should have to seek permission from the person, not just the government; that police officers should have to get a search warrant to search for personal information on PCs; and that personal information stored in the cloud should be subject to at least the same privacy protections as personal information stored on paper.

At least in the US, we may have a remedy for that soon. President Obama is proposing new privacy laws for our digital selves, which will allow protections we enjoy in the physical world to reach into the digital one as well.

Source: Microsoft