Consumer Reports: Internet Users Are “Very Concerned” About Privacy

Big Brother 2007 (UK)

People are really worried about their online safety and they want to know more ways to protect their personal data. Internet users do not want weak laws that don’t go far enough – they desperately are seeking tough laws to make sure that their personal data doesn’t get exploited by companies or criminals.

A new national survey released by Consumer Reports found that 71% of respondents said they were “very concerned” about companies selling or sharing their personal data without their full permission. As we all should know by now, Google’s new privacy policy took effect on March 1st of this year and this allows the company to combine data of its users across its many products and services. Google wants to create a more detailed profile of exactly who you are so that they can sell it…ah, excuse me….”share” that information about you to advertisers. Google makes over 90% of its revenues from advertising and rakes in about $40 billion/year.

According to this new Consumer Reports survey (and many others like it) Internet users are fed-up and strongly disapprove of the way Google, and companies like it, handle their personal data. The survey also found that 65% of smartphone owners are very concerned about applications (apps) having access to sensitive information about them. Many of these apps have access to your photos, your location, your address list, etc. People often do not even realize that they are so exposed when their using their smartphones with these apps loaded on.

Ioana Rusu, Regulatory Counsel for Consumers Union (the public policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports) said:

“This survey confirms that most Americans are very concerned about their online privacy. A lot of people are seriously worried about how their personal information is being exploited. Your personal data ought to be treated with respect, and you ought to have more of a say in how it’s used.”

It’s clear what people want, let’s hope there are people listening to give them what they’re asking for.

For more information:

Mashable, “Worried About Digital Privacy? You’re Not Alone [SURVEY]“ – click here

Consumerist, “Consumer Reports Survey Confirms That We’re Worried About Online Privacy” – click here

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