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BizReport : Internet : May 21, 2015

Pew: Online service providers least trusted to keep personal data secure, private

More than half of people in the U.S. feel they have little to no control over their personal data online, and most do not trust the government or private businesses to protect their data, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.

by Helen Leggatt

Pew's survey, conducted online in 2014 and earlier this year, found that more than 9 in 10 U.S. adults said it is important, or very important, that they have control over who gets access to their private information. Yet, the survey found that half felt they had little or no control over their personal data.

While there was much distrust of the government, particularly with regards to limits on telephone and Internet data being collected, online service providers, too, are not held in high regard.

In fact, online service providers were among the least trusted, particularly with regards to keeping information secure and private. The majority of survey respondents said of entities such as search engine providers, social media sites, online advertisers and online video sites that they felt "not too confident" or "not at all confident" of their ability to protect personal data.

Specifically, three-quarters said they were "not too confident" or "not at all confident" that information of online activity retained by online advertisers remains private and secure. Sixty-nine percent said the same of social media sites, 66% of search engine providers and 66% of online video sites.

Furthermore, many want limits placed on the length of time that information on their online activity is retained, or dispute whether it should be retained at all. Forty to 50% believe that the online service providers discussed above should not save records or archives of their activity for any length of time.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: online service providers, personal data, privacy, security

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