WIT Press

A French-Australian Comparison Of Attitudes Towards Security And Privacy In Modern Information Technologies


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WIT Press


L. M. Batten & G. LeGrand


The purpose of this research is to analyse social response, both at the individual and the corporate level, to the security and privacy concerns raised by new technology development, with particular reference to comparisons in attitudes between Australia and France. Interviews were conducted with three organizations in each country, all of which provide goods and services which protect and manage data. Four of the organizations operate at international or national levels and have been in existence for many years. Two were small companies which had been in existence for only a few years. Across both countries, our interviews indicated that security is not an item that people are willing to pay for unless it is required by law or deemed necessary, for instance, in order to obtain insurance benefits. However, one interviewee noted that both citizens and organizations are becoming more educated about what security means and what it does, and this will eventually lead to an increase in demand for privacy and security products. The most distinctive difference in attitudes between France and Australia were found in the privacy area, Europe and France having a far more stringent legal approach to the protection of privacy than Australia. The specific disparities arise around categories of exemptions, the existence of legally authorized ‘privacy violations’ in Australia, the handling of sensitive data, and the length of time for which data should be kept confidential. Keywords: information privacy, data security, culture.


information privacy, data security, culture.