- 54% assumed that if requested, the website must delete information about you
Offline privacy fared very similarly, as survey participants had bad assumptions too, with an average score of 1.7 of 4. For example, 49% assumed that a store cannot sell your address and phone number without your permission.
This survey also debunked the belief that young adults don’t care about their privacy. The 18 to 24 year old group reported more than half the time (55%) that they do not want tailored advertising. It jumps to 86% of young adults against tailored advertising when it is based on data collected about them across multiple website. The number hits 90% for young adults against tailored advertising when the tailored advertising is as a result from following them across multiple website and offline behaviors.
As I had blogged about recently ("How Safe is Your Data?"), this survey also mentions the difficulty of protecting your privacy on websites through regular deletion of cookies, and how it is even more difficult to remove the Flash cookies.
There is much more information in this survey that makes it a good read for Policymakers, Marketers, and individuals with seeking better understanding of Americans’ expectations and perceptions on their privacy. Clearly people expect companies to take their privacy seriously and it’s an easy way to lose their trust. Americans also have expectations that regulations would be in place to protect their privacy.
If you want to get more involved in driving changes to privacy regulations, there are a number of groups in this space including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Consumers Union, and Center for Digital Democracy, among others. In fact I have found a Legislative Primer, September 2009 (13 pages), “Online Behavioral Tracking and Targeting Concerns and Solutions from the Perspective of Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Consumer Watchdog, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Privacy Lives, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Privacy Times, U.S. Public Interest research Group, The World Privacy Forum.”