On January 20, 2016, the Pew Research Center released the findings of its study about privacy in America. The study examined how Americans view government surveillance and commercial transactions that capture personal information.
The Pew Research Center’s key findings include the following:
- 91% of adults agree or strongly agree that consumers have lost control of how companies collect and use personal information.
- There is a lack of confidence about the security and control of everyday communication channels.
- Americans say it is “very important” that they are in control of (a) who can get information about them (74%) and (b) what information is collected about them (65%).
- 86% of internet users have taken steps online to remove or mask their digital footprints, but many say they would like to do more or are unaware of tools they could use.
- Many Americans struggle to understand the nature and scope of data collected about them.
- Young adults generally are more attentive to online privacy than their elders.
- A majority of the U.S. public believes changes in law could make a difference in protecting privacy – especially when it comes to data retention polices.