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Global Internet User Survey 2012
Source: i-policy.org
Source Date: Friday, December 07, 2012
Focus: E-Education
Created: Dec 11, 2012

The Global Internet User Survey provides reliable information relevant to issues important to the Internet’s future and informs the Internet Society's programmes and activities.

In 2012, more than 10,000 people in 20 countries were asked about their attitudes towards the Internet and behaviors online, offering one of the broadest views of people’s attitudes about key issues our world faces when it comes to the Internet.

The questions ranged from how users manage personal information online, attitudes toward the Internet and human rights, and the potential for the Internet to address issues such as economic development and education.

We believe it's people who are the source of innovation that has driven the Internet’s development, evolution and dramatic growth over the past four decades.

The data collected is openly available to everyone.

Download the Summary of the report here.

Key findings from this year's survey cover a broad range of topics.

The Internet and Human Rights:
•Eighty-three percent of respondents agreed or agreed strongly that access to the Internet should be considered a basic human right.
•Eighty-nine percent agreed or agreed strongly that Internet access allows freedom of expression on all subjects, and 86 percent agreed or agreed strongly that freedom of expression should be guaranteed.
•Sixty percent of respondents agreed or agreed strongly that Internet access has contributed significantly to civil action and political awareness in their country.
Internet censorship:
•Thirty percent of users agreed strongly that censorship currently exists on the Internet.
•Sixty-six percent of respondents agreed or agreed strongly that governments in countries with no Internet censorship have a responsibility to keep the Internet free of censorship in countries where the Internet is being censored/controlled/shut down.
•More than 70 percent of users agreed or agreed strongly that more government involvement would make the Internet too controlled or would limit content they can access.
•More than two-thirds agreed or agreed strongly that increased government control would inhibit the growth of the Internet and/or stifle innovation.
Online privacy and identity:
•Even when users know they are sharing personal data with a site or service, most users (80 percent) do not always read privacy policies and a significant fraction (12 percent) of respondents admitted that they never read privacy policies.
•Of users who logged into online services, only half reported that they logged out.
•Nineteen percent of respondents were aware of circumstances in which personal data was used in a way they did not expect. The most commonly reported consequences were: unsolicited communications, stolen personal data, private data becoming public, impersonation, and financial loss.

The Internet and economic and societal issues:
•Nearly two-thirds of respondents agreed or agreed strongly that the Internet would play a significant role in solving global problems, including reducing child mortality (63 percent), improving maternal health (65 percent), eliminating extreme poverty and hunger (61 percent), and preventing the trafficking of women and children (69 percent).
•An even higher percentage of respondents agreed or agreed strongly that the Internet would increase global trade and economic relationships (81 percent), improve the quality of education (80 percent), and improve emergency response during a natural disaster (77 percent).
•A majority of respondents felt strongly that the Internet plays a significant role in making improvements to business, science, and technology in areas such as: expanding the availability of goods and services (66 percent), allowing entrepreneurs to conduct business across all countries (65 percent), and advancing science and technology and creating a technologically recognized workforce (61 percent).

Attitudes towards the Internet:
•Ninety-eight percent of users agreed or strongly agreed the Internet is essential for their access to knowledge and education.
•More than 80 percent agreed or agreed strongly that the Internet plays a positive role for their individual lives as well as society at large.
•Nearly 75 percent of users strongly agreed that access to the Internet allows them to seek any information that interests them.
General Internet usage:
•Internet users nearly universally (96 percent) indicated they accessed the Internet at least once a day.
•More than 90 percent of Internet users surveyed globally indicated they use social media, with a majority (60 percent) using it daily, an increase of 10 percent over 2011.
•Connection speed (73 percent) and reliability (69 percent) ranked slightly above more affordable monthly fees (68 percent) among factors that would increase usage. Other factors included more content in their local language (50 percent) and more online availability of government and/or community services (49 percent)

Background
The Internet Society is a trusted independent source of leadership for Internet policy, technology standards, and future development. More than simply advancing technology, we work to ensure the Internet continues to grow and evolve as a platform for innovation, economic development, and social progress for people around the world.

The Global Internet User Survey (GIUS) is a globally-scoped survey programme developed by the Internet Society to provide reliable information relevant to issues important to the Internet’s future. As an ongoing effort, the survey informs and supports the activities of the global Internet Society community. While other ICT surveys focus on economic, infrastructure, or other Internet use indicators, the GIUS focuses on users, which are the source of innovation that has driven the Internet’s development, evolution and dramatic growth over the past four decades.

In 2012 the GIUS interviewed more than 10,000 Internet users in 20 countries. This report is intended to provide a general overview of the behaviors and opinions of Internet users on various topics. The data and this report aim to represent the views of the users surveyed rather than the positions or views of the Internet Society, or its global community.

The 2012 GUIS was conducted for the Internet Society by Redshift Research, a leading business market research firm.

Methodology
The 2012 Global Internet User Survey was conducted via online panels comprised of a total of 10,789 Internet users across 20 countries. Because of differences in sample sizes, the margins of error in the results for each country vary between 3.10% and a 4.38% at the 95% confidence level.
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