- Apr 24, 2016
- Content source
As we spend an increasing chunk of our lives online — more than 6 hours a day on average — we face a growing challenge: how to protect ourselves and, specifically, our personal data in the digital world. Many private firms, such as social media giants, advertisers and data brokers, are hungry for this data. They harvest it and milk it for profit, sometimes without our knowledge or expressed consent. The government also taps into the online data pot, often through intermediaries to bypass legal safeguards.
For the longest time, this covert and shady operation has taken place out of the public eye. But now, more and more people smell something fishy. A recent Pew online privacy survey found that 8 in 10 Americans are concerned about how companies use the data they collect about them, and 7 in 10 harbor the same apprehensions about the government. But while these numbers clearly show that Americans care about privacy, the most interesting finding is that the lion’s share have no idea what is really going on behind the scenes and how they can regain long-lost control of their data.
People are increasingly concerned about their privacy online, but they often don't know what happens to their information once it's collected and how to protect it. A new survey reveals the full picture.