12 Nov Pew study finds huge concern about personal data privacy online
The Pew Research Center has published a new study into Americans’ attitudes to privacy in the digital age. The wide-ranging survey, called Public Perceptions of Privacy and Security in the Post-Snowden Era, includes plenty of interesting tidbits but one stat that really stands out is how overwhelmingly U.S. consumers believe they have lost control over their personal data, owing to a perception that online companies are doing what they like with harvested personal info.
A full 91 per cent in the nationally representative survey of 607 adults said they agree or strongly agree that consumers have lost control over how personal information is collected and used by companies. That breaks down to almost half (45 per cent) strongly agreeing with the statement and 46 per cent agreeing. Just 6 per cent disagreed, and only 1 per cent strongly disagreed.
The study also found an overwhelming majority (88 per cent) of Americans agreeing or strongly agreeing that it would be very difficult to remove inaccurate information about them online. (Those folk may wish for the type of legal data protection framework that Europeans currently enjoy — which now requires search engines to process requests for delinking private name searches that have been associated with inaccurate data.)
And a similar majority (80 per cent) of those who use social networking sites expressing concern about third parties such as advertisers and businesses accessing the data they share on these sites.