Edward Snowden revelations have had limited effect on privacy

Chances are if you’re reading the Unwanted Witness website, you’ve heard of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. But what about the wider world: have others heard of him and his surveillance revelations – and if so, what effect have they had?

The Canadian Centre for International Governance released the results of a survey of more than 23,000 people around the world this week, and the results are instructive.

Globally, 60% of respondents have heard of Snowden, but only 39% of those people have taken additional steps to protect their online privacy as a result.

However, 62% of all respondents are concerned about government agencies from other countries secretly monitoring their online activities, while 61% are concerned about police or other government agencies from their own country doing this. And 64% of respondents have “some degree of concern” about their online privacy compared to a year ago.

So, one question is why people who’ve heard of Snowden and/or are concerned about online privacy haven’t taken steps: all thoughts welcome on that.

But also, what steps have you personally taken (in the last year or otherwise) to protect your privacy online? If someone was reading the comments thread to this post wondering what they can do, what advice would you give them? The comments are open for your thoughts.