ROMIR and National Research University Higher School of Economics survey: Russians are optimistic about the development of information technologies, but fear for data security

20 June 2024

ROMIR Research Holding Company together with the School of Communications of the National Research University Higher School of Economics conducted a study on the topic "Information Technologies in the Perception of Russians". The purpose of the study was to assess the attitude of Russians to information technologies and to identify the main concerns and expectations related to their development.


The main conclusions of the study:

Russians demonstrate reserved technological optimism: 39.5% of Russians have a positive attitude to the introduction of new technologies, but 24.9% admit that this process causes them concern.

The gap between agenda and reality: the topic of losing professions due to automation dominates the media field (36.3% of media mentions), while Russians themselves are more concerned about the security of their data (57.4% fear leaks) and cyberbullying of children (53.5% worry about gadget addiction).

The main conclusions of the study:

"Digital footprint": Russians recognise the benefits of information technology for society, but 57.4% fear becoming victims of fraudsters due to data leaks, and 51.7% fear cyberattacks and illegal surveillance.

"Technology should serve people, not control them. And it's important that we don't forget this while getting carried away by the race of innovations. The research shows that Russians want to better understand how algorithms work, how to protect their data, and how to control the time they spend in the digital space. This shows that we need to make technology more transparent and understandable for ordinary people, to give them more tools to control their digital lives," comments Andrey Milekhin, President of ROMIR, on the survey.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) causes ambivalence: 61.8% of Russians believe that AI is superior to humans in information retrieval, but at the same time 48.2% are sure that it will be used maliciously. And 32.8% are afraid that AI will threaten the existence of mankind.

The top 5 technological risks that Russians are most concerned about:

1. Data leakage and fraud (57.4%)

2. Loss or theft of personal data (55.4%)

3. Dependence of children and teenagers on gadgets (53.5%)

4. Illegal collection of personal data (53%)

5. Cyberattacks (51.7%)

"The biggest challenge of the digital age is not to create a perfect artificial intelligence, but to preserve humanity at the same time. It is important to remember that AI is just a tool, and it should be used in such a way that it does not suppress, but unlocks human potential. It is necessary to develop critical thinking, creativity, emotional intelligence - the qualities that make us human and that no algorithm, even the most perfect one, can replace," summarised Andrey Milekhin.


About the methodology of the study:

The research was conducted in two stages. At the first stage, the Russian media field was analysed to identify the main topics and trends related to information technologies. At the second stage, an online survey was conducted among 2,500 respondents aged 18 to 65 from different regions of Russia.

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