Pew Survey: Americans Wrongly Believe Privacy Policies Protect Privacy

According to a Pew Survey, over 50% of internet users in the U.S. believe privacy policies protect their information. The survey posed the following true/false statement, "When a company posts a privacy policy, it ensures that the company keeps confidential all the information it collects on users." 52% of users incorrectly answered "true." The question was based on a similar 2003 survey - which found that 57% of users believed privacy policies protected their information. In the 1999 survey on online privacy, "Surfer Beware III: Personal Privacy and the Internet", EPIC "found that the privacy policies available at many websites are typically confusing, incomplete, and inconsistent." The original EPIC survey "Surfer Beware: Personal Privacy and the Internet (1997)" was the first survey ever undertaken of Internet privacy practices. EPIC wrote at the time, "it is matter of basic fairness to inform web users when personal information is being collected and how it will be used." For more information, see EPIC: Public Opinion on Privacy.


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