New Study from Pew Research Center Reveals Widespread Anxiety about the Security of Personal Data Online
A new study by the Pew Research Center examines the U.S. public’s attitude towards the privacy of their personal information, and reveals widespread anxiety about government surveillance and businesses collecting personal data. This report is the first in a series of studies that examines the American public’s attitude to privacy following Edward Snowden’s revelations about government surveillance programs in June 2013. These concerns apply “to everyday communications channels and to the collectors of [personal] information—both in the government and in corporations.”
Figure 1 contains a word cloud which illustrates what comes to mind when Americans hear the word “privacy”. Respondents equated the concept of privacy with personal concerns, with many responses tying to the concepts of security, safety, and protection.
The study further revealed that 91% of respondents agree or strongly agree that consumers have lost control over how their personal information is collected and utilized by companies. Meanwhile, 80% of respondents who use social networking sites worried that advertisers or businesses were accessing the data shared on these sites.
Figure 2 above shows where consumers feel the most and least secure when sharing personal information. “Across the board, there is a universal lack of confidence among adults in the security of everyday communications channels,” states the study. Digital channels rank particularly high, with 32% of respondents saying they do not feel secure using chat or IM to share private info with a trusted person or organization, and an astonishing 53% of respondents saying they do not feel secure using social media sites to share private info with a trusted person or organization.
The Pew Research Center surveyed 607 adults in January 2014.
As a marketer, what active steps are you taking to address the security concerns of your customers? Let us know what these steps are in the Comments below.
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