Author: Soraya Carvajal B., originally published February 6 2018 - Along with the advance in digital matters, new challenges and risks for the Information Society appear in Spain. This was expressed by José María Sanz-Magallón, director of Fundación Telefónica, during the presentation of the Digital Society Report in Spain 2017, noting that the previous one "was the year of cyber attacks (WannaCry, the most relevant) and the emergence of the fake news and its interference in the field of politics ". The director added that the certainty about the importance of these phenomena is such that cybersecurity and fake news are among the priorities of the current national security strategy.

In the global sphere, the World Economic Forum placed cyber attacks among the most likely risks of occurrence and potential impact, above terrorism. Likewise, it is estimated that the global cybersecurity market will grow at an annual rate of 8.3% until 2020 and this area is becoming a strategic asset in the national security policies of the States.

At a domestic level, the Fundación Telefónica report states that 63.9% of computers in Spanish households have some malignant program or malware and a large percentage of the Spanish population is not yet aware of these vulnerabilities.

The study also found that in 2017 the importance that users give to data privacy increased slightly (83.7% of users, 3.4 points more than in 2016). More among women (89%) than among men (78.3%). Sanz-Magallón also affirmed that 90% of users consider it important to exercise control over the information that is posted on the network.

The SIDe analysis [1] also indicates that confidence in the Organic Law on Data Protection remains high and that 85.6% of the Spanish population would stop using a specific service if it violates security control standards. This shows an increase in the concern and caution of users in the absence of privacy of information on the network. Spanish Internet users, in addition, tend to trust services, as long as they follow the existing rules, and antivirus is the most frequent measure to preserve privacy and avoid risks.

Among other measures adopted, it should be noted that more than half of users aged 20 to 24 years use blockers to filter or avoid advertising when surfing the Internet (55.8%). Disconnecting the GPS has become the most common measure for users from 14 to 19 years old (88.5%), ahead of the use of antivirus software, as well as covering the webcam, while 22.5% of young people between 14 and 19 years do not use antivirus software.

The Internet of Things (65.2%), the facial recognition systems (57.9%) and the cloud (55.6%) are the technologies that most affect privacy according to Spanish Internet users.

According to the report, in addition, 8 out of 10 users are in favor of telecommunications operators having a platform to manage their data. And, 34.5% of Internet users consider that, today, telecommunications companies - subject to specific regulation - better protect their data than online providers and platforms for digital services, while 54.7% of the trust deposited in the telecos comes from users from 14 to 19 years old.

In the presentation of the report, César Alierta, president of the Fundación Telefónica, said that Telefónica invests 10 billion euros in networks per year, and that ensuring the security of communications in Europe requires 4 billion euros from Europe, a task that "is fundamental because everything is going to be digital".

For this manager to establish the privacy and security of communications in Europe is a "fundamental priority" that requires convincing the European Commission to develop a standard that guarantees both privacy and security, because that model would be replicated in Latin America and other regions of the world. "We would have a private and secure digital world and that is to defend the rights of people," he said.

Click here to read part I of this series of two.

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