Valued Opinions Online Survey Shows Concern Over Internet Security

By Valued Opinions, PRNE
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

LONDON, January 19, 2011 - Valued Opinions has revealed that its latest market research reveals
anxiety over the privacy of personal data, particularly in the digital realm.
Valued Opinion's online poll* results showed an overwhelming lack of
confidence, with 74% of respondents expressing disquiet about companies
collecting private data and 72% revealing that they only share such data with
companies they feel they can trust.

The internet has opened up a Pandora's box of security issues as
increasingly sophisticated and interactive websites use cookies to track web
user activities and lay up their data for market research or advertising
purposes. These latest online survey results reflect growing public concern:
63% of respondents agree with the assertion that technology is becoming too
intrusive, and a similar percentage (61%) believes that the internet stores
too much personal information.

A growing number of websites send cookies (effectively pieces of personal
data) to the users' web browser where it's saved to the hard drive and can be
retrieved, viewed or edited by the site. This clever technology is used for
everything from user authentication to customizing website preferences and
remembering the content of shopping carts.

However, only around half (53%) of respondents in the recent online
survey are happy to share personal details even if it helps companies to give
them what they want. Web cookies may also take more data than users imagine,
for example sharing the kind of hardware and software we use and even
tracking personal email addresses. Worryingly, 62% of the online opinion
panel in the recent poll doesn't have a clear idea about the types of
personal data companies are able to collect from them.

In theory, web browser security settings mean that the user can accept or
reject cookies as they choose. However, the reality is more complicated.
Firstly, rejecting all cookies means that users can't use a lot of websites,
including those requiring log in (like Google or Yahoo). What's more, it's
recently come to light that so-called flash cookies (used by Adobe's Flash
program to set default volume levels, etc. on popular sites like YouTube) may
have also been used to trace and store user information by defying the usual
web browser security settings. In recent months, several law suits have been
filed against media and technology companies that have apparently used these
flash cookies surreptitiously, mostly for marketing purposes.

Although a staggering 88% of respondents in the Valued Opinions online
survey believe that companies should be punished for breaking privacy laws,
there is concern that the UK rules on internet security are not robust
enough. BT's trial use of Phorm technology to track its users' browsing
history received numerous complaints although UK authorities concluded that
it broke no official laws.

The European Commission disagree; they referred the UK to the EU Court of
Justice for failing to comply with its online privacy rules which has led to
an infringement procedure and could result in a fine. In an environment of
mounting public concern over online security, the outcome of this case is of
great interest and importance.

About Valued Opinions:

Valued Opinions is an online market research platform where members have
the opportunity to earn rewards by participating in online surveys
( and online polls ( Through various
partnerships with popular retailers such as, Tesco and HMV, Valued
Opinions provides its members with attractive rewards in exchange for
completing paid online surveys (

Made up of more than 2 million members globally, the Valued Opinions
community provides market research companies with access to untapped opinions
from a large database of consumers.

Notes to Editors:

* Valued Opinion survey taken between 29th October- 1st November, 2010.
Sample size: 19,191

    PR Contact:
    Sebastien Van Schalkwyk
    Loyalty Marketing Manager
    1st Floor, Elizabeth House
    39 York Road
    London SE1 7NQ

PR Contact: Sebastien Van Schalkwyk, Loyalty Marketing Manager, 1st Floor, Elizabeth House, 39 York Road, London SE1 7NQ, +44(0)207-921-2562

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