Recent news about NSA data monitoring has triggered a 20% spike in the percentage of Internet users who are concerned about online privacy, according to a just-published study by Annalect, Omnicom’s data analytics division.

Since the NSA story broke in June, the percentage of internet users who described themselves as concerned or very concerned about their online has risen to 57%. And nearly one third of those users have taken extra actions to protect their information, such as enabling Do Not Track on their browsers, used cookie-blocking technologies, or edited their social media profile. Even 27% of users who describe themselves as unconcerned about privacy issues take additional measures.

This is the latest data point that underscores the continuing erosion of consumer trust in online data collection, whether it’s by government or industry. We believe that the private sector must redouble its efforts to establish credible and effective standards to establish healthy relationships with consumers regarding data. Mezzobit has been an innovator in developing a more rapid response to this crisis with our Trusted Data Interchange and partnership with DataNeutrality.org to establish data protocols and review our operations. This forms the basis of the Internet’s first socially responsible data collection management platform.

But technology and standards are not enough. Nearly half of the 700 users surveyed felt they did not know enough about online privacy to make informed choices. Ad technology companies, governments, online publishers and trade organizations need to continue their work to simplify the confusion around data and privacy. It’s clear that FUD helps no one.

A full copy of the study can be found on the Annalect website.