A new study by the Pew Internet Research Project has found an overwhelming percentage of Americans feel that consumers have lost control over how businesses collect and use their personal information.
While 91% of respondents agreed with that statement, a majority (55%) expressed that sharing some personal information is an acceptable trade for free content or services. However, more than six in ten rejected the trade-off when it involved convenience or only increasing the efficiency of services. Nearly two-thirds felt that the government should do more to regulate online advertising.
Not surprisingly, the type of information affected how people felt about sharing it. Eight-one percent felt that sharing health information was sensitive, but about half as many felt the same way about purchasing habits. Website browsing history was considered not sensitive by 28% of respondents, while only 16% similarly considered the history of their physical location over time.