January 14, 2016

Privacy and Information Sharing: Scenarios

Many Americans are in an “it depends” frame of mind when they think about disclosing personal information or keeping it private when considering different scenarios

% of adults who would find these different scenarios acceptable or not acceptable

Office surveillance cameras

Several co-workers of yours have recently had personal belongings stolen from your workplace, and the company is planning to install high-resolution security cameras that use facial recognition technology to help identify the thieves and make the workplace more secure. The footage would stay on file as long as the company wishes to retain it, and could be used to track various measures of employee attendance and performance. Read more about this scenario.

Sharing health information

A new health information website is being used by your doctor’s office to help manage patient records. Your participation would allow you to have access to your own health records and make scheduling appointments easier. If you choose to participate, you will be allowing your doctor’s office to upload your health records to the website and the doctor promises it is a secure site. Read more about this scenario.

Retail loyalty cards

A grocery store has offered you a free loyalty card that will save you money on your purchases. In exchange, the store will keep track of your shopping habits and sell this data to third parties. Read more about this scenario.

Auto insurance

Your insurance company is offering a discount to you if you agree to place a device in your car that allows monitoring of your driving speed and location. After the company collects data about your driving habits, it may offer you further discounts to reward you for safe driving. Read more about this scenario.

Free social media

A new social media platform is being used by your former high school to help manage communications about a class reunion. You can find out the basic information about the reunion over email, but your participation on the social media site would reconnect you with old friends and allow you to communicate more easily with those who are attending. If you choose to participate, you will be creating a profile using your real name and sharing a photo of yourself. Your access to the service is free, but your activity on the site would be used by the site to deliver advertisements it hopes will be appealing to you. Read more about this scenario.

Smart thermostat

A new technology company has created an inexpensive thermostat sensor for your house that would learn about your temperature zone and movements around the house and potentially save you on your energy bill. It is programmable remotely in return for sharing data about some of the basic activities that take place in your house like when people are there and when they move from room to room. Read more about this scenario.

Source: Survey conducted Jan. 28 - Feb. 16, 2015.
Note: Refused responses not shown.