91% of American adults feel like they have lost control over their personal data

91% of American adults feel like they have lost control over their personal data
According to Pew Research, Americans feel that they do not have any control over their personal information. In fact, a stunning 91% of those surveyed in the country, say that they have no control how companies receive and use their personal information. This is important, because 88% feel that it is very difficult to remove incorrect information about them that is posted online.

Do you use Instagram or Twitter? Are you a Facebook devotee? 80% of those who use a social networking site, worry that advertisers and businesses can access the personal data that they put up on such sites. 70% of social networking users are worried about a more threatening presence. This group worries that the government sifts through the info they share, without so much as a heads up. 81% of those asked said that they are not comfortable sharing data on a social network. 

It seems that Americans feel the most secure about their personal information, when they are using a landline. 16% feel that their data is very secure when using a wired handset, as opposed to the 9% who feel that way when using a cell phone. Only 5% feel very secure about sharing information via an email.

So just what information do Americans consider the most sensitive? 90% put their social security number at the top of the list. Your health and medications you take are next, with 55% considering this information very sensitive. Your religious views and political leanings  are considered very sensitive by just 22% and 20% of those asked, respectively. That tells us how things have changed in the connected age. Politics and religion used to be two topics that you were not supposed to share with anyone but your spouse. These days, the content of your email (52%) and text messages (50%) are considered more sensitive.

source: Pew via LATimes



1. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

What's the worst that could happen?...

3. Sauce2

Posts: 199; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Its not about being "the worst that can happen". It is about having our personal data "lost". Thats it. There is no 1+1 here. Just boom. Bang. Blammo.

9. TheMan

Posts: 494; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

The fallacy is that we ever had "control" over it.

11. fatTony

Posts: 115; Member since: Dec 20, 2012

Well said. Private businesses collect so much personal data that they make the NSA seem angelic. The public has not panicked because it doesn't know yet.

2. bucky

Posts: 3790; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

I have seriously trimmed down my online footprints as of late. It's actually quite frightening. As much as I appreciate Google pushig tech forward I am really stepping away from anything Google.

4. milesboy5

Posts: 179; Member since: Nov 07, 2012

To what alternative? Every tech company in the world sifts through the data that they receive. For many its how they target their advertisements, and then there are those who were asked by agencies to release such information for foreign and domestic affairs. If you think Google is the only one doing such actions then boy are you naive..

10. bucky

Posts: 3790; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Google do it a bit better and try to sync too many things over. Google now tracks everything too. I still use google search but I now don't sign in to Chrome, use do not track plus or sign in to youtube.

5. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

It seems like this would be a natural feeling for people who live in a police state.

6. Chuck007

Posts: 1411; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

When personal data is no longer personal. That's the age we live at folks.

8. rallyguy

Posts: 620; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

No control over how companies might have some data on you. What about governments having EVERYTHING on you? Google has probably 20% what the large governments have. Not to mention Google and Apple are doing it legally.

12. MorePhonesThanNeeded

Posts: 645; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

Lol, the dream that you had control over your data. People are delusional, once you are born you are tagged with an SS number, fingerprinted as well. You must be given a name and have a valid address in order to get anything from anywhere. Just what control over your own data did you have to begin with? Your data is required to work, go to school, have a bank account, apply for a loan, claim taxes....the amount of places your data goes is beyond crazy and what's worse is that even seemingly connected government agencies will ask you for your data for their own records. So this delusion that you had control over your personal data is some sort of dream that someone came up with...you never had control. Just like when you are born in a country, you are basically a product of that country the passport you acquire isn't yours either it belongs to the country. Personal data, control of it, pfft...yea like that was ever true.

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