Americans sharing more info online but also demand more privacy, study shows
WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans are sharing more personal information online than ever, but they also want to better control who can see it, according to a study released on Thursday by the Pew Research Centre's Internet and American Life Project.
The study says privacy concerns are growing, with half of Internet users saying they are worried about the information available about them online, up from 33 per cent in 2009. Meanwhile, 86 per cent of people surveyed have tried at least one technique to hide their activity online or avoid being tracked, such as clearing cookies or their browser history or using encryption.
People cite various reasons. About one-third said they tried to conceal their activity from hackers or criminals, while 28 per cent tried to block advertisers. Others said they wanted to keep information private from family members or spouses, employers or the government.
"People choose different strategies for different activities, for different content, to mask themselves from different people, at different times in their lives," said Ms Mary Madden, a senior researcher at Pew. "What they clearly want is the power to decide who knows what about them."