Microsoft finds that half of Britons do nothing about online privacy

Research for Microsoft's first ad campaign to raise awareness about online privacy found that although 84% of people are concerned about it almost 50% are doing nothing about it.

Last week Microsoft launched the UK element of a major international above-the-line campaign targeting internet users to encourage them to be aware of their online footprint and use the privacy features of Internet Explorer.

Stephen Bolinger, a privacy attorney at Microsoft EMEA, told Campaign that the campaign was a response to people’s concerns by helping them to control what they share online.

Microsoft research found 84% of people in the UK are concerned about online privacy, with 30% of people very concerned. However, when they were asked what they were doing about it 49% said they were not doing anything.

Bolinger said: "We heard from consumers that they are concerned about privacy and this is part of our response to that. As part of the campaign we have a dedicated website with detailed content on online privacy."

The special Microsoft privacy site allows internet users to find out more about online privacy and take an online quiz about their internet usage.

The Wunderman-created TV, print, out-of-home and digital campaign launched in the UK on Wednesday and highlights the types of things people are willing to share online, and the sort of information they would rather not.

The voiceover explains Microsoft has introduced tracking controls and encourages people to use the "do not track" tool. The ad’s endline is: "At Microsoft, your privacy is our priority."

Bollinger added: "We’re not making a value judgment. We want to make sure that have the information. If they want to be a carefree surfer then that’s fine but we want to make sure they are doing that knowingly."