Privacy has become a key concern among modern users of the Web, for obvious reasons. After all, most online services these days don’t require any money down, opting instead to leverage user information for lucrative ad dollars. Then, of course, with the outing of the NSA’s PRISM program, most Americans have become even more wary when it comes to privacy.
However, according to a new survey from uSamp, this situation isn’t as simple as one might assume.
To start with, more U.S. residents see the government as more trustworthy than Twitter, which is curious considering the social media company was not found on PRISM lists. In fact, Twitter was found to be the least trustworthy company, with only 4 percent of respondents saying they trust it the most with their personal data.
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Apple, meanwhile, remains the public’s favorite in the area of trust, with 32 percent of respondents saying they trust the iPhone maker the most with their data. Remarkably, the U.S. government trailed Apple by only a few points at 29 percent, followed by Google at 16 percent, Facebook at 10 percent and Microsoft at 9 percent.
"The results of this survey are a bit surprising given the continuing PRISM/ NSA scandal, though it does go to show that most Americans are simply not focused on and/or don't understand the risk to their privacy," said Justin Wheeler, vice president of product innovation and business development at uSamp. "This bodes well for marketers/advertisers who are constantly looking for new ways to leverage these platforms."
Indeed, it seems that a lack of awareness colors the survey’s results as only 17 percent of respondents said they were “very concerned” with mobile privacy, while 53 percent said they were neutral or “not-at-all-concerned.”
That said, Americans do still have their concerns, primarily in terms of location tracking and phone call monitoring, both of which were listed as primary causes for concern by 28 percent of respondents. On the other hand, only 9 percent said they were worried about companies tracking their Web searches, suggesting greater value placed on physical privacy than virtual privacy.
Edited by Alisen Downey