With concerns surrounding privacy growing in the onset of the digital era, Americans are worried about confidentiality, but only till the point they aren't offered anything for free, reveals a new survey.
The study entitled "Public Perceptions of Privacy and Security in the Post-Snowden Era" was conducted by the Pew Research Center to gain an insight into the psyche of the average American and their concerns surrounding privacy.
The study surveyed 607 American adults and discovered that a majority of the population feels that they do not have any control over the personal data gathering by companies. Alarmingly, 91 percent feel that they do not have any control over the user information collection by companies.
They are also concerned about sharing personal details via texts, emails, social media sites and messaging services. Nearly 81 percent Americans feel either "not very" or "not at all secure" when deploying social networking sites to share personal data with a friend or company. About 68 percent people are apprehensive of sending personal data via messaging services. Additionally, 58 percent and 57 percent people are doubtful of sharing information via texts and emails, respectively.
Landlines, which are hardly used anymore, were seen as the most secure by the majority of Americans with only 31 percent denouncing it as "not very" or "not at all" secure.
"While Americans' associations with the topic of privacy are varied, the majority of adults in a new survey by the Pew Research Center feel that their privacy is being challenged along such core dimensions as the security of their personal information and their ability to retain confidentiality," notes the study.
The survey is also reflective of the underlying mindset of Americans - the "universal lack of confidence," - which has to an extent been affected and partially molded by the disclosures of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden who revealed details of the U.S. government's surveillance. Nearly 80 percent people either "agree" or "strongly agree" that they should be worried about the U.S. government's spying on Internet communications and phone calls.
However, 55 percent Americans can be lured with tradeoffs if providing personal data gives them access to online services that are free of charge.
As far as the desire to do something about privacy concerns goes, 61 percent Americans "would like to do more" whereas 37 percent feel they "already do enough."