Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Google, Facebook and Research questions

UMR Research has just released their findings relating Google, Facebook and privacy and the following are some of the stats.

- 54% of New Zealanders believe that Google should be regulated to protect personal privacy. 51% think that Facebook should be regulated to protect personal privacy.

The question is, what do we actually mean by 'regulation?' This is one of those research type questions that doesn't tell us much.

- 67% of New Zealanders and 69% of Australians oppose Google sharing New Zealand data with American intelligence agencies such as the FBI, NSA and CIA. 71% oppose Facebook doing the same.

This is a bit more definite. I presume that Google does share some data with American intelligence, but what's being shared and what's not is vague here. It's a bit like saying two thirds of my family don't think family information should be shared with the neighbours across the road. What is actually meant by 'family information' in such a case?

- 54% of New Zealanders think that Google does a good job protecting people’s privacy, compared with 45% of Australians.

So if that's the case why are we looking at more regulation?

43% of New Zealanders think that Facebook has too much power.

Power to do what?

- 94% of New Zealanders have positive opinions of Google, compared with 84% of Australians. Fewer New Zealanders have positive opinions of Facebook (73%).

Again, a vague statement that tells us very little.

- Only 19% of New Zealanders think that Google has too much power, while 46% believe that Facebook has too much power.

Huh? Further up we were told that 43% thought Facebook had too much power.

- 23% of New Zealanders believe that Google manipulates search results for its own benefit, compared with 32% of Australians.

Yup, there's always plenty of conspiracy around when you ask a question like that!
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