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Privacy of increasing concern

05:11 Mon May 5 2014

More New Zealanders are worried about privacy than ever before and it seems to be an issue particularly concerning people living in Christchurch, according to a survey released by the Privacy Commissioner.

Half of all New Zealanders report becoming more concerned about privacy issues in the last few years, up from 40 per cent in 2012 and the highest level recorded in the two-yearly survey.

The number of Christchurch residents saying they had become more concerned increased by 25 per cent to 54 per cent but the survey doesn't say if there is a link to the earthquakes.

Generally the security of personal information is an issue of concern, with 80 per cent of people citing it.

About 85 per cent of people are also worried about what children post on the internet.

About four out of five people worry about their credit card or banking details being stolen, identity theft and about businesses sharing information with other businesses.

About 67 per cent of people are concerned about government agencies sharing information with other agencies without permission, and about 63 per cent say they are concerned about surveillance by overseas government agencies.

Only 18 per cent of New Zealanders said they regarded platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as either highly or somewhat trustworthy, while 69 per cent thought they were highly or somewhat untrustworthy.

Police are regarded as trustworthy by 84 per cent of people and health service providers are trusted by 92 per cent of people.

The survey of 750 people was carried out from March 13 to March 17.

It is being released to mark Privacy Week, an annual event to raise privacy awareness.