The rising privacy crisis and the NSA revelations have helped prompt some 28 percent of all internet users, or 415 million people, to adopt online privacy tools to help keep their internet use and data confidential, according to The Guardian.
Frustration over censorship, privacy and content blocking is boosting awareness of millions of internet users since the revelations of former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden revealed widespread spying by US intelligence agents.
“VPNs serve a perfect dual purpose for consumers in lots of markets, allowing them to access restricted content and better content as well as stay anonymous,” said Jason Mander, GWI’s head of trends for The Guardian. “It also means that the numbers using sites such as Facebook in China are likely to have been under-estimated, and that geo-located advertising is completely missing the mark for these internet users.”
According to a study of 170,000 individuals by GlobalWebIndex 56 per cent of users feel a lack of privacy while browsing. Thatâ€™s the main reason that close to 45.13 million people worldwide, mostly in India, Indonesia and Vietnam, use Tor browser.
Also, Indonesians have the highest penetration of proxy and Virtual Private Network (VPN) use with 42 per cent of all the nationâ€™s internet users.
Chinese internet users are not to be left aside, as 34 per cent use anonymity tools to bypass political or commercial censorship filters. Googleâ€™s YouTube is a main motivation behind VPNs and proxies for 60 per cent. Facebook and Twitter use motivated 55 per cent. It is estimated that Chinaâ€™s VPN user base could reach 160 million, many of them identified as US-based via IP addresses.