Pew Report Illustrates the State of Privacy in America

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Pew Report Illustrates the State of Privacy in America

January 28, 2016

Pew Research recently released a study about the state of privacy in America, which revealed some very interesting findings. We’ve pulled out a few highlights, and provided related resources with information on privacy issues and ways you can protect yourself online. You can also read the full findings here, to obtain more detail on the stats mentioned below.

Overall Feeling on Privacy

  • 91% of adults agree or strongly agree that consumers have lost control of how personal information is collected and used by companies.

Read our recent article, “You Are the Product: The Price of Free in the Growing Privacy Industry” to learn more on how your information may be used by privacy providers.

Personal Control

  • “Americans express a consistent lack of confidence about the security of everyday communication channels and the organizations that control them”
  • 74% say it is “very important” to be in control of who can get information about them
  • 65% say it is “very important” to control what information is collected about them

Do you know how your personal information is being used? Always be sure to check the privacy policy and understand what information you may be giving up!

Digital Footprint

  • 86% of internet users have taken steps online to remove or mask their digital footprints
  • Many people would like to do more, but are unaware of tools they could use

Learn how encrypting your Internet connection helps protect your privacy – so no one can see your “digital footprint”  or what you’re doing online.


  • Many people struggle to understand the type and scope of data collected about them
  • 47% were not confident in how their information would be used

Learn about the importance of transparency in our 10 Myths article.


  • “Overall, Americans are divided when it comes to their level of concern about surveillance programs”
  • 52% describe themselves as “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about government surveillance of Americans’ data and electronic communications; 46% describe themselves as “not very concerned” or “not at all concerned” about the surveillance
  • People who followed the news and debates surrounding the Snowden leaks are more anxious about privacy policy and their own privacy than those who didn’t
  • 40% say it’s acceptable for the American government to monitor communications from American citizens; 57% say this is unacceptable

Learn about attempts that the US government is making to surveil US citizens via the Cyberseurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) bill.


  • A majority of the U.S. public believes changes in law could make a difference in protecting privacy – especially when it comes to data retention
  • 68% believe current laws are not good enough in protecting online privacy

Learn about important ECPA legislation reform that Golden Frog supports, and about the ongoing debate over backdoor encryption.

Source: All data in this post comes from Pew Research’s “The State of Privacy in America

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