Governments, organisations and polls have all tried to suggest young people do not care about online privacy, and would happily give up a few pieces of information for the right to “safety” on the web.
In a new report, it appears this is untrue, with large advances in online privacy directed by teenagers. It shows young people are more likely to make information like Twitter accounts, status updates and Instagram photos private from other people.
The rise of forums like Reddit and Yik Yak show people want privacy and the ability to hide their identity, something most young people express through an alias carried over from one site to another.
This alias even stretches into video games, where young people will regularly make up names that have nothing to do with their birth name, in order to disguise the identity.
The launch of apps like Snapchat and rise of its popularity are clearly connected to the rise in online privacy, to make sure that nobody is able to check out photos posted by a young person, not parents or the government.
This new surge in online privacy may hurt companies like Facebook and Google, looking to capture as much available information as possible on the user for advertising.
If the user is going under an alias, hides most of their online browsing and makes sure to safeguard private information, it becomes incredibly hard for Google or Facebook to make an ad-profile on the user.
Online privacy became a much more dominant feature on the internet after the NSA surveillance revelations were leaked by Edward Snowden. This was the catalyst to send people into overdrive, pushing for more privacy tools online.