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Youth Concerns Rise: Data Privacy in the Age of AI

A recent survey by Cisco reveals that many young adults, contrary to popular belief, harbor deep concerns about companies using their data to train AI. This survey of 2,600 individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 sheds light on the increasing awareness of AI's impact on data privacy.

As generative AI technology advances, it brings with it not only innovation but also controversy. Amidst concerns about job displacement and science fiction scenarios, a more practical worry has emerged—data privacy. Surprisingly, a survey conducted by Cisco demonstrates that even younger generations, often perceived as disengaged from major issues, are increasingly concerned about how their data is employed to fuel AI.

In a sample of 2,600 individuals aged 18 to 24, approximately 62% expressed unease about companies utilizing their data to train AI. They fear that the trust they've placed in these companies over the years might be undermined by clandestine data scraping practices.

Around 42% of those surveyed are more inclined to exercise their Data Subject Access Rights (DSAR), which grant them access to their data. This reflects a growing trend compared to the previous year when just 6% of individuals aged 75 or older would consider exercising this right.

The survey findings reveal a growing sense of distrust towards long-favored companies. Approximately 60% of respondents stated that they have already lost trust in their favorite companies. This distrust is further fueled by instances where companies scrape data from artists, writers, and creators for AI use.

Despite the growing skepticism, 48% of respondents believe that AI has the potential to be beneficial. This sentiment aligns with the recognition that AI can genuinely enhance certain aspects of daily life.

Interestingly, 54% of those surveyed would be willing to share some anonymous data in exchange for improved AI products. This willingness to trade data for enhanced AI solutions highlights the evolving dynamics surrounding data privacy and technology.

As AI continues to reshape various industries, from chatbots to image generators, individuals are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of data usage. This survey reflects the shifting perspectives on technology and data privacy among younger generations, who are not just passive consumers but active participants in shaping the future of AI.

The ongoing dialogue between AI developers, users, and regulators underscores the need for a balanced approach that harnesses AI's potential while safeguarding individuals' data rights in the digital age.