Net-Threats: How To Lie With Statistics, Again

Another example of how a non-statistical-based research is turned by poorly informed journalists into “scientific truth”. Net-Threats is a survey collecting the opinions of a certain number of “experts”: as its authors clearly state:

Since the data are based on a non-random sample, the results are not projectable to any population other than the individuals expressing their points of view in this sample. The respondents’ remarks reflect their personal positions and are not the positions of their employers; the descriptions of their leadership roles help identify their background and the locus of their expertise.

But this part of the survey – that nobody but the concerned people will ever read – is missed in the ? poor journalistic account of the news and the readers will be given the wrong idea that the figures quoted are for real and that the findings are “true”.

By the way, as in the other “statistical” research about the value of personal data, I’ve written about, the findings of this survey might even be acceptable. But there is no need to beef it up with figures and percentage show off that give the general reader a wrong information.

But in this case, the culprit is the journalist.