November 12, 2014

What Americans Think About Privacy

The majority of Americans feel their privacy is being challenged in some fundamental ways, our new report finds. Select one of the nine profiles below to see the variety of perspectives our focus group respondents shared about privacy. Their answers are real, but they have been assigned a pseudonym.

Select an individual to see their privacy profile.

Age 51
Race/Ethnicity Mixed, non-Hispanic
Graduate degree
Social media user
When I say the word “privacy,” what comes to mind for you?
NSA, encryption, 4th amendment
How do you think your definition of privacy differs from people who are younger than you are?
Social networking has decreased younger folks’ sensitivity to privacy issues. Lots of things are shared.
How, if at all, have your ideas about privacy changed over the years?
I used to think that phone calls were private just because of the hassle of recording everything... Not anymore.
Some companies say that they need targeted advertising in order to provide free services. Do you think that’s a fair tradeoff?
Yes. Like the TV business model. To me it’s better than a subscription for everything
James strongly disagrees that:
It is a good thing for society if people believe someone is keeping an eye on the things they do online.
20% of respondents also strongly disagree with this statement
It is easy for me to be anonymous when I am online.
22% of respondents also strongly disagree with this statement