NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 5 – Kenyans online are the least worried lot globally of their privacy, an inaugural Digital Economy Report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has shown.
According to the Digital Economy Report 2019, only 44 per cent of internet users in Kenya are concerned about their privacy online compared to Egypt, Hong Kong (China), India, Mexico and Nigeria where the proportion of internet users concerned about their privacy exceeded 90 per cent.
The survey conducted by the Centre for International Governance Innovation and Ipsos in collaboration with the UN agency between December 21, 2018 and February 10, 2019 also showed that 78 per cent of internet users in 25 economies sampled were at least somewhat concerned about their privacy.
The pollsters interviewed 25,229 internet users in 25 selected countries.
The report comes at a time when the cost of cyber security on the Kenyan economy has been estimated at Sh29.5 billion according to the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (2018).
The situation is further compounded by the inexistence of a data protection law, one of the concerns raised by rights groups in the electronic listing of Kenyans in the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) dubbed Huduma Namba in May and the recently concluded national population census.
In 2018 alone, banks accounted for 18 per cent of cyber attacks with payment systems accounting for 10 per cent.
The Communication Authority recently reported a 167 per cent increase in cyber security threats with 10.2 million threats detected between October 2018 and December 2018 compared to a similar period in 2017.
According to the study by UNCTAD Kenya is among four African countries where digital entrepreneurship is concentrated.
Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa account for 60 per cent of Africa’s digital entrepreneurship, the report published on September 4 indicates.
Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, Uganda and Tanzania have been clustered in the second-tier accounting for 20 per cent of the continent’s digital entrepreneurship.
“Significant digital entrepreneurship activity began earlier in Accra, Cape Town, Nairobi and Lagos than, for instance, in Kigali or Addis Ababa. More and more diverse enterprises exist in those first four cities than in second-tier cities, and the density of innovation hubs and other support initiatives is also higher there,” the reads in part.
The report forecasts an increase in global Internet Protocol (IP) traffic to 150,700 gigabytes per second by 2022 from 46,600 gigabytes per second in 2017.
“Global Internet Protocol (IP) traffic, a proxy for data flows, has grown dramatically in the past two decades. In 1992, global Internet networks carried approximately 100 gigabytes (GB) of traffic per day,” the report indicates.
“Ten years later, it reached 100 GB per second. Fast-forward to 2017, and such traffic had surged to more than 46,600 GB per second, reflecting both qualitative and quantitative changes in the content. But despite the rapid growth to date, the world is only in the early stages of the data-driven economy: by 2022 global IP traffic is projected to reach 150,700 GB per second.”
According to the Digital Economy Report, however, the digital economy is however concentrated in US and China which account for 90 per cent of market capitalization of the value of the world’s 70 largest digital platforms.
50 per cent of global spending on the Internet of Things (IoT) is also concentrated in the two leading global economies where 75 per cent of all patents related to blockchain technologies and a similar per centage of the cloud computing market are concentrated.
The trend, according to the report, could have “global implications that are likely to accentuate inequalities,” given the growing power of digital platforms.