Pew Study: Americans Fear They've Lost Control of Personal Data
A Pew Research study examined how Americans view the privacy of their personal information in the wake of Edward Snowden's revelations about online government snooping.The Pew Research Internet Project published a study on Nov. 12 that reveals how distraught Americans have become about the privacy of their personal information. According to the study, only 5 percent of respondents were not aware of U.S government programs to monitor American's calls and emails. U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden first revealed the existence of pervasive U.S. online spying efforts in June of 2013. The study is based on the analysis of a survey conducted in January of this year with a sample of 607 adults. On the issue of government monitoring, 80 percent of the Pew study's respondents agreed with the statement that Americans should be concerned about the government's monitoring of phone calls and Internet communications. Government monitoring isn't the only thing that Americans are worried about. The majority of those surveyed by Pew were also worried about their privacy online overall. The Pew study found that 91 percent of American adults surveyed agreed with the idea that they have lost control over how personal information is collected and used by companies.
Fully 80 percent of respondents specifically reported they were concerned about how third parties are able to make use of personal information shared on social networking sites. To that end, the study found that the majority of respondents—64 percent—want the government to do more in terms of advertiser regulations.