One of my pet peeves is the misuse of statistics in reporting. Here’s an example that happens to intersect with issues of privacy.
The Daily Mail is featuring a story titled “Young shoppers want to pay with chip in skin”, extolling the fact that teenagers are willing to have microchip implants as a means of paying in stores. But three paragraphs into the story you discover that only around 8 percent of 13 to 19-year-olds are open to the idea of microchip implants.
Wow, 8%. That means 92% don’t want to pay with implanted microchips. Of course, a headline like “Eleven-twelfths of teens don’t want anything to do with becoming digitally-enhanced consumer cyborgs” doesn’t sell papers.
A broader concern here is that when these kind of memes start circulating – that kids think its no big deal to have chips implanted linked to their personal & financial information – general expectations of privacy and informational norms start to change.
[found via Canadian Privacy Law Blog]