Danes grow less concerned about handing over data to Facebook

Although as many as one in six people in Denmark has limited their use of Facebook and other social media due to concerns about data use, the proportion has almost halved since 2015.

Danes grow less concerned about handing over data to Facebook
Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix

Despite reports of abuse of data by companies like Facebook – most notably the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which affected a limited number of people in Denmark – people in the Scandinavian country have become significantly less cautious about handing over digital details to social media firms, according to a Statistics Denmark analysis.

In 2015, 30 percent of all people asked by the stats agency said that they were concerned about handing over personal details to social media. That has fallen to 17 percent in 2019, Statistics Denmark writes in a press release on Monday.

The numbers come from the national statistics bureau’s survey on the population’s IT habits in 2019.

Over the four years, overall usage of social media in Denmark increased: 76 percent used one or more social media sites in 2019, compared to 60 percent in 2015.

Concerns over data security vary between age groups: people between the ages of 25-34 and 45-54 were the most concerned about data security in 2019, with 21 percent and 20 percent respectively expressing concerns.

The least sceptical was the 65-74 age group at 11 percent.

Around half of all people in that age category use social media, compared to 97 percent of 16-24-year-olds and 94 percent of people aged 25-34.

READ ALSO: How the elderly in Denmark are losing their money to online scammers


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Denmark proposes new law to make Facebook pay for news and music

The government is to forward a bill on Friday proposing tech giants such as Facebook and Google pay Danish media for using content on their platforms.

Denmark proposes new law to make Facebook pay for news and music
File photo: Regis Duvignau/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The proposal will also mean platforms used to share media, such as YouTube, will be required to make agreements with rights holders in order to display videos or music, the Ministry of Culture said in a statement.

A comparable law recently took effect in Australia, resulting in all news pages being temporarily blocked for Facebook users in the southern hemisphere country.

READ ALSO: Could Denmark force Facebook to pay for news content?

“The media plays a central role in our democracy and ensures that public debate takes place on an infrormed basis,”culture minister Joy Mogensen said in the statement.

“If the media are to be able to continue making journalism, they should of course be paid for its use,” she added.

The proposal will provide for rights holders such as musicians or media outlets to be given a new publishing right which will enable them to decide who can use their content.

As such, companies like Facebook and Google will need permission to use the content online.

The Danish proposal builds on an EU directive which gives individual media outlets the right to agree deals with tech giants.

The bill put forward by Mogensen will allow Danish media to make a collective agreement with the tech companies providing for payment when their content is used.

An interest organisation for Danish media companies has backed the proposal.

“We have wanted to be able to enter collective agreements with tech giants because that would strengthen the media companies’ position,” Louise Brincker, CEO of Danske Medier, told newspaper Berlingske. Brincker noted she had not yet read the full proposal.

Media will not be obliged to make agreements with the tech companies, however. Complaints to the Danish copyright board, Ophavsretslicensnævnet, will be possible under the new law, should it be passed by parliament.

The bill will become law on June 7th should it receive the backing of a parliamentary majority.

Both Facebook and Google decline to comment to Berlingske on the matter, stating they had yet to see the bill in full.