Pew Reports That Privacy Laws Are Inadequate

So I was thinking about what Tom Bartel said this week in his article, Exploring Privacy Harms:

“We live in an online world, where increasingly the value proposition as users is a trade of our information and attention.  In exchange for our time and attention – we receive this value  – the free-use of innovative, fun or useful services online.”


The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project published its Anonymity, Privacy, and Security Online report that said 86% of internet users have tried to use the internet in ways to minimize the visibility of their digital footprints and that beyond their general hope that they can go online anonymously, the majority of internet users have tried to avoid observation by other people, groups, companies, and government agencies. Hackers, criminals and advertisers are at the top of the list of groups people wish to avoid.

What are more interesting to me is that 59% of Internet users “do not believe it is possible to be completely anonymous online,” so unless Privacy Laws change virtually all users are at risk.

They also said

  • 21% of internet users have had an email or social networking account compromised or taken over by someone else without permission.
  • 13% of internet users have experienced trouble in a relationship between them and a family member or a friend because of something the user posted online.
  • 12% of internet users have been stalked or harassed online.
  • 11% of internet users have had important personal information stolen such as their Social Security Number, credit card, or bank account information. 

Check out the summary of their findings here, but dig into their key findings here. Very interesting read this Friday morning if your bored with work emails.


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