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Japanese netizens fret about internet safety

20 July 2009

Robin Hicks

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Eighty per cent of Japanese internet users are worried about their privacy and feel insecure when using the web, according to the results of a government survey.

Japanese netizens fret about internet safety
Image credits: FutureGov / Japanese netizens fret about internet safety

The survey, published as part of the annual White Paper on Information and Communications in Japan, found web users in Japan are worried about being online, however the government said their worries are out of kilter with the actual risks they face.

Around 32 per cent of Japanese surveyed feel insecure with regard to their privacy online while a further 50 per cent said they feel relatively insecure. On information security issues such as viruses and worms, 32 per cent feel insecure and 51 per cent relatively insecure.

There’s a difference between safety and a sense of security,” said Chigusa Saeki, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Information and Communications’ economic office, during a news briefing. “People feel unsafe but they use the internet anyway.”

According to OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) data, Japanese citizens generally have more worries about safety in their offline lives than those in other countries. “The government is taking concrete steps to improve online safety,” said Saeki, pointing to the “Secure Japan” initiative that seeks to strengthen information security in government systems.

Despite a string of well-documented e-government related policies, the Japanese government has been slow in adopting e-government systems and services. Highlighting e-government services overseas, particularly the “Borger” government portal in Denmark, the white paper calls on the Japanese government to launch a similar one-stop shop for government services.

Source : FutureGov

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