New Report From Pew Research: “How Americans View Data Privacy”
From Pew Research:
In an era where every click, tap or keystroke leaves a digital trail, Americans remain uneasy and uncertain about their personal data and feel they have little control over how it’s used.
This wariness is even ticking up in some areas like government data collection, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults conducted May 15-21, 2023.
Today, as in the past, most Americans are concerned about how companies and the government use their information. But there have been some changes in recent years:
Americans – particularly Republicans – have grown more concerned about how the government uses their data. The share who say they are worried about government use of people’s data has increased from 64% in 2019 to 71% today. That reflects rising concern among Republicans (from 63% to 77%), while Democrats’ concern has held steady. (Each group includes those who lean toward the respective party.)
The public increasingly says they don’t understand what companies are doing with their data. Some 67% say they understand little to nothing about what companies are doing with their personal data, up from 59%.
Most believe they have little to no control over what companies or the government do with their data. While these shares have ticked down compared with 2019, vast majorities feel this way about data collected by companies (73%) and the government (79%).
We’ve studied Americans’ views on data privacy for years. The topic remains in the national spotlight today, and it’s particularly relevant given the policy debates ranging from regulating AI to protecting kids on social media. But these are far from abstract concepts. They play out in the day-to-day lives of Americans in the passwords they choose, the privacy policies they agree to and the tactics they take – or not – to secure their personal information. We surveyed 5,101 U.S. adults using Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel to give voice to people’s views and experiences on these topics.
In addition to the key findings covered on this page, the three chapters of this report provide more detail on:
- Views of data privacy risks, personal data and digital privacy laws (Chapter 1). Concerns, feelings and trust, plus children’s online privacy, social media companies and views of law enforcement.
- How Americans protect their online data (Chapter 2). Data breaches and hacks, passwords, cybersecurity and privacy policies.
- A deep dive into online privacy choices (Chapter 3). How knowledge, confidence and concern relate to online privacy choices.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.