The poll by AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and MeriTalk shows that 64% of Americans say their social media activity is not very or not at all secure. About as many have the same security doubts about online information revealing their physical location. Half of Americans believe their private text conversations lack security.
And they’re not just concerned. They want something done about it. Nearly three-quarters of Americans say they support establishing national standards for how companies can collect, process and share personal data.
“What is surprising to me is that there is a great deal of support for more government action to protect data privacy,” said Jennifer Benz, deputy director of the AP-NORC Center. “And it’s bipartisan support.”
But after years of stalled efforts toward stricter data privacy laws that could hold big companies accountable for all the personal data they collect and share, the poll also indicates that Americans don’t have much trust in the government to fix it.
A majority, 56%, puts more faith in the private sector than the federal government to handle security and privacy improvements, despite years of highly publicized privacy scandals and hacks of U.S. corporations from Target to Equifax that exposed the personal information of millions of people around the world.
Indeed, companies such as Apple have made a big push to pitch themselves as attuned to consumer privacy preferences and committed to protect them.
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