Social media use has quickly become a popular online activity for internet users in India, with Facebook emerging as the network of choice for most. eMarketer estimates that 6.3% of the population in India will use a social network at least once per month in 2012. While that doesn’t sound like much, the percentage translates to a hefty 76.1 million users, a figure projected to climb to 129.3 million by 2014.
But privacy has emerged as a source of concern for a sizeable group of social media users, according to a poll conducted in several Indian cities by the PreCog Research Group at the Indraprastha Institute of Indian Technology, Delhi between July 2011 and April 2012. The research found that 63% of social media users had modified their default privacy settings, indicating at least a recognition of potential privacy problems as they related to the use of social networking platforms.
Still, consumers as a whole tended to place faith in the idea that the personal information collected by social networks was in good hands. About six in 10 said they either were not concerned about their privacy information or felt it was safe from a data breach, while roughly four in 10 expressed some kind of concern about the way their data was handled on social networks.
An air of caution also spilled over into wider internet use among those in India—56% of respondents said they had cleared their browsers of cookies after spending time on the internet.
As more people in India join in online and on social networks, privacy could emerge as a growing concern, a possibility marketers may want to bear in mind.
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