New research conducted by the Ponemon Institute reveals a substantial lack of empowerment felt by consumers when it comes to their data privacy. There is also a gap between the data protection individuals want and what industry and regulators provide, pointing to a dire need for digital identity protection solutions on a consumer level.
According to the report (Privacy and Security in a Digital World: A Study of Consumers in the United States), consumers are still waiting on — or expecting – the federal government to drive data protection initiatives.
More than half of consumers (60%) believe government regulation should help address the privacy risks facing consumers today. Of those, 34% say government regulation is needed to protect personal privacy and 26% believe a hybrid option (regulation and self-regulation) should be pursued.
The study found that 64% of consumers think it’s “creepy” when they receive online ads that are relevant to them. And 73% of consumers want advertisers to allow them to “opt-out” of receiving ads on any specific topic at any time.
It is worth noting that the social microblogging platform Twitter indeed offers this opt-in/opt-out feature. This cannot be said about other popular online services, though.