Thursday, November 20, 2014

How much privacy do we have online?

By: Scott Stein, VP of Client Services, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

A recent New York Times piece (Americans Say They Want Privacy, but Act as if They Don’t) caught my attention. It cites a Pew Research Center survey that found that “Americans say they are deeply concerned about privacy on the web and their cellphones, but they do not trust Internet companies or the government to protect it.”

The numbers from the survey are interesting. Here are the percentages of people concerned about sharing private information through various channels:
  • Social media – 81 percent  
  • Online chats – 68 percent
  • Texting – 59 percent 
  • Email – 57 percent
  • Talking on cellphones – 46 percent
  • Talking on landlines – 31 percent
The survey also found that those who were more aware of the reports about government surveillance were more likely to be concerned about communicating private information. In addition, the survey found an equal distrust of advertisers and the government.

While many of us are concerned about sharing information online, it appears that most of us are willing to accept that privacy trade-off as we live our lives online in today’s world.

What do you think? Are you concerned about sharing information online? Does is bother you that advertisers, and maybe the government, may be monitoring your online information? 

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