New Customer Commons Survey: Most People Protect Privacy Online by Hiding or Lying about Personal Information

Respondents feel websites, social networks and app publishers ask too much.

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“Before we did the survey, we’d heard from data aggregators that something like 50% of their data might be incorrect. The survey showed that much higher rates of obscuring data is happening.

San Francisco (PRWEB) May 08, 2013

Americans hide their personal details and intentionally falsify information when asked for it by websites, services and mobile app providers, according to new research by Customer Commons, a California-based non-profit. The data suggests that many people are skeptical of the need for services to collect personal data, leading people to lie, click away or decline app downloads. According to the survey, people engage in these behaviors to create a sense of privacy and control over their personal information.

“Lying and Hiding in the Name of Privacy” examines the ways in which people manage their online identities and personal information. The study shows that some people will accurately represent themselves only when online services show a clear upside. Otherwise, most people don’t want to reveal more than is necessary when all they want to do is download apps, watch videos, shop or engage in social networking.

Key findings in the report include:

  •     Only 8.5 percent of respondents always accurately disclose personal information.
  •     As many as 70% of respondents regularly withhold at least some personal data.
  •     Many respondents lie about various line items as a strategy to protect their privacy.

“Before we did the survey, we’d heard from data aggregators that something like 50% of their data might be incorrect. The survey showed that much higher rates of obscuring data is happening. People are afraid and angry, as reflected in their comments to the survey, and they are doing the only thing they can to protect themselves: hiding, lying or withdrawing” said Customer Commons Board of Directors member and study co-author, Mary Hodder.

To learn more and download the paper, please go to http://www.Customercommons.org/research

About Customer Commons
Customer Commons is a not-for-profit working to restore the balance of power, respect and trust between individuals and the organizations that serve them, especially in the online world. We stand with the individual and therefore do not take contributions from commercial entities. Funding for the research project was provided by a grant from CommerceNet, a not-for-profit research institute working to fulfill the potential of the Internet since 1993.


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