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Poll: Public confidence on privacy security down sharply
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-12-09 03:23 PM
On Monday the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy announced the results of its latest public opinion survey on democratic freedom and human rights in Taiwan. The poll showed that public confidence in the security of their private communications has been deeply eroded, leading the foundation to urge the government to take action to improve the situation for the people of the nation.

Wang Jin-pyng, the chairman of the foundation, talked about what the drop in public confidence in communications security means. He said there are many things the government can do to protect personal security and guarantee freedom of communications. He said the results of the foundation’s poll should remind us that the government is responsible for upholding the security of private communications and is also responsible for "the uproar of the past three months."

The foundation announced the findings of its 2013 survey Monday morning in the Legislative Yuan. The poll covered topics related to democratic freedom and human rights, examining six areas of interest using a questionnaire in which subjects replied on a scale to 1 to 5 on a number of issues, with 1 indicating complete dissatisfaction and 5 indicating complete satisfaction.

The survey found that the overall level of satisfaction among the people regarding the government’s effectiveness in protecting human rights was 2.7 out of points. Satisfaction on human rights and civil liberties was a sliver higher at 2.8 points, while the score for political rights was 2.5 points. The reading on public health rights was lower at an average of 2.1 points, with 68% of those surveyed saying that they felt food safety was the most important issue at the present time.

The survey found that of the 34 human rights indicators examined, the most important was Freedom of Residence and Movement, followed by Freedom of Religion, the Right to Vote and the Government’s Attitude toward Service, all at 3.8 on the scale of 5. A full two points lower was concern over Corruption in Government at 1.8 points, while Relevant Laws to Protect the Rights of Citizens and No External Intervention in the Administration of Justice rated only 2 points, and No Violations of Fair Trials was only slightly higher at 2.4 points.

The importance of government efforts to protect the secrecy of private communications hit a peak in 2011 at 3.5 but has declined over the past two years to 2.4 points.

According to the survey, people are more concerned now about the government’s ability to Protect People with Disabilities, New Immigrants, Ethnic Equality and Gender Equality, all of which showed higher levels than last year. Satisfaction with the level of protection afforded new immigrants stood at 3.6 points, indicating that people are generally satisfied with what the government is doing on behalf of new immigrants. At the same time, the score on the government’s response to the people was only 2 out of 5 points, with satisfaction with access to government information and government efficiency both showing declines.

The survey was conducted by the Survey Research Center of Shih Hsin University between November 28 and December 5, 2013, using telephone interviews of subjects chosen at random. 1068 subjects over the age of 20 were successfully interviewed, with a confidence level of 95% and a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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