New survey reveals global sentiment towards internet access, safety, and trust

Access Now, working in partnership with RIWI, a Toronto-based technology firm, has released the initial results of the Global Internet Sentiment Survey.

The project was born out of an identified need to better understand how people around the world think about and engage with the internet, especially given its increasingly prominent role in many of  our lives. Over the course of April 2018, we asked eight questions regarding three key issues in our community’s work — access, safety, and trust — of 30,000 internet users across ten countries.

These initial results are being released in the lead-up to RightsCon — Access Now’s annual summit on the intersection of human rights and technology — which will bring together an estimated 2,000 participants from 115 countries in Toronto (May 16-18).

“This survey was designed to help the RightsCon community understand public sentiment toward issues that are central to our work on human rights in the digital age,” said Nick Dagostino, RightsCon Director at Access Now.

Globally, 86% of survey respondents said they believe they have a fundamental right to access the internet. This belief was strongest in Nigeria, with 94% answering yes, and weakest in France, at 74%. And while 36% of those surveyed in India respond yes to whether they trust the information they read and consume online, this number was as low as 12% in Russia. See the full announcement here for more of the survey results.

“This year, the RightsCon community has seen the impact of our collective work increase around the world,” Dagostino said. “To do this work better each year, we need to understand how people around the world think about the internet, and the challenges and opportunities citizens face when confronting the digital age. This is particularly important when it can be difficult, and at times impossible, for individuals to freely and safely share their input and experience. Those voices need to be heard.”