On the heels of the recent Pew study concerning cloud computing and privacy, Consume Reports has released a poll revealing that most Americans are very concerned about what is being done with their personal information online. Some highlights:
- 72% are concerned that their online behaviors were being tracked and profiled by companies
- 53% are uncomfortable with internet companies using their email content or browsing history to send relevant ads
- 54% are uncomfortable with third parties collecting information about their online behavior
- 93% of Americans think internet companies should always ask for permission before using personal information
- 72% want the right to opt out when companies track their online behavior
Further, the poll reveals that some Americans are taking steps to resist widespread online surveillance:
- 35% use alternate email addresses to avoid providing real information
- 26% have used software that hides their identity [perhaps like Tor]
- 25% have provided fake information to access a website
Meanwhile, the poll revealed large misconceptions about the actions of online companies and the (lack of) protections afforded consumers
- 61% are confident that what they do online is private and not shared without their permission
- 57% incorrectly believe that companies must identify themselves and indicate why they are collecting data and whether they intend to share it with other organizations
- 48% incorrectly believe their consent is required for companies to use the personal information they collect from online activities
- 43% incorrectly believe a court order is required to monitor activities online
We have a lot of work to do.
Here is a talk that will probably interest you:
“Featured Speaker – Steven Rambam”
I found it an interesting view on privacy.
I have made a search website that can help people make private searches.
It is http://www.privyo.com
It uses SSL to prevent ISP’s or anyone monitoring your searches and does not keep a history.