Are you concerned about what websites such as Facebook and Google are doing with your online data? Then you’re in the majority.
According to a new survey from Consumer Reports, 71% of respondents reported they are “very concerned” about companies that sell their information unbeknownst to users.
On top of that, 65% of smartphone owners said they were equally concerned about iPhone and Android apps that can access their address books, photo galleries, geolocation and other sensitive data.
More than half of the survey’s respondents also reported they were worried about online advertisers targeting personalized ads at kids. Ditto with companies holding on to their data even after they’re done using it for a specific purpose, as well as employers or banks denying them jobs or a loan because of online data.
Additionally, a little less than half of respondents were concerned about targeted advertisements in general and overly long and complicated privacy policies.
The survey was conducted by Consumers Union, the advocacy side of Consumer Reports, as part of a response to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). NTIA asked for stakeholders’ comments on its proposal to develop a system of voluntary consumer privacy codes for digital companies.
Sen. Al Franken and groups including the ALCU have also responded to the NTIA, suggesting voluntary rules weren’t enough and legislation was needed to keep companies such as online advertisers from violating Internet users’ civil liberties.
President Obama has called for a “Consumer’s Bill of Rights” governing what companies can do with Internet users’ data.
Do you worry about your online privacy? Do you think new laws are needed to protect Internet users’ data? Sound off in the comments below.
Author: Alex Fitzpatrick / Posted: 05-04-2012