Americans Fear Hackers More Than the Government Over Online Privacy
Americans are concerned about internet privacy, but they’re far less worried about government snooping than they are about their online activity being monitored by hackers and advertisers.
That’s according to a survey of 792 internet and smartphone users in the US by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, conducted in July.
Who are people worried about? 33% of people who’d taken measures to protect their privacy said they were trying to hide their activities from hackers or criminals, while 28% said they were concerned about advertisers.
19% said they were hiding from “people in their past” or “certain friends”; 17% from “people who might criticise, harass or target them”; 14% from family members or a romantic partner; and 11% from employers, supervisors or workmates.
Interestingly, given the debates around anti-piracy legislation, only 6% of Pew’s respondents said they were trying to avoid their online activity being observed by “companies or people who might want payment for files you download”.
Meanwhile, the government and law enforcement authorities were well down the list at 5% and 4% respectively. The survey was conducted between 11 July and 14 July, well after the first revelations about the US National Security Agency’s surveillance activities broke.
By the way, have a look at how other media are spinning this exact same data. Very interesting/odd that it’s The Guardian only who go with that headline.