Backlash Innovation: anti-surveillance innovation trends

November 1, 2013
2 min read


According to a report by the CBC, we’ve seen more anti-surveillance innovation around the world as a result of increased attention to NSA (National Security Agency) activity.

Encryption software is becoming more popular since media attention has grown with respect to NSA surveillance and monitoring. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University released a smartphone app called SafeSlinger they say encrypts text messages so they cannot be read by cell carriers, internet providers, employers “or anyone else.”

CryptoParties are springing up around the world as well. They are small gatherings where hosts teach attendees, who bring their digital devices, how to download and use encrypted email and secure internet browsers.

“This whole field has been made exponentially more mainstream.”

Cryptocat private instant messaging developer Nadim Kobeissi, to the CBC

What happens in response

Around the world, consumers are becoming more aware of how much of their personal data is accessible online. We’ve seen how true online security isn’t exactly possible and how many consumers across markets understand that, in the name of safety and protection, they must give up some of that privacy.

We’re also seeing more retailers make use of tracking technology and data about consumers to monitor shopping habits and activities and other sites using health information to draw potentially harmful conclusions. Perhaps because this kind of tracking is becoming more common, consumers appreciate websites that protect privacy to some extent. According to Mintel’s Living Online US July 2012 report, 74% of consumers said they like sites that take special care to protect their privacy.

Because more individuals are looking for ways to protect their identities, personal data, and online information, we’re seeing more apps and tools meant to make it more difficult to hack into accounts or otherwise pry into private online data.

As more attention is drawn to all the ways in which online privacy apps and gatekeepers are fallible, consumers will be continuously in the market for the newest and most secure protective measures. Therefore, software companies and developers will also continually benefit from coming up with the newest ways for individuals and businesses to maintain the level of privacy and protection they require.


Carli Gernot
More from Mintel
  • Mintel Store
    Mintel Store
    Get smart fast with our exclusive market research reports, delivering the latest data, innovation, trends and strategic recommendations....
    View reports
  • Mintel Leap
    Mintel Leap is a revolutionary new AI-powered platform that will transform your research process....
    Book a demo
Subscribe to Mintel Spotlight
Related articles
March 15, 2024
Head over to Mintel’s LinkedIn to let us know what you think of today’s episode, and visit to become a member of our free Spotlight community.
November 28, 2023
Head over to Mintel’s LinkedIn to let us know what you think of today’s episode, and visit to become a member of our free Spotlight community. Learn…
August 31, 2023
The Tech at Mintel series shines a spotlight on our global IT department and how some of the industry’s best and brightest build Mintel’s modern, agile, and scalable technology backbone. Janine Crosbie,…

Download the Latest Market Intelligence