Data Privacy Concerns Seem To Be Uniting Americans

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Research data suggests the country, which is divided on numerous issues, appears to be coming together over online privacy concerns.

Last week, lawmakers questioned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the social network’ data privacy problems — and the 33-year-old repeatedly dodged the questions about what the company is sharing with third parties by opting to talk about what users are sharing.

Well, Zuckerberg’s answers weren’t convincing enough and for obvious reasons, people are concerned about their data. That makes perfect sense because according to the Simmons Consumer Research, Americans are online a lot: 73 percent of them use social media, 45 percent went online more than 25 times last week, while 43 percent of did some form of online banking last month.

There is no denying the fact that the U.S. is more divided than ever. Over the years, many factors have contributed to the polarization of the country — be it politics, culture or religion, the ground of disagreements is vast, but Simmons data suggest concerns about privacy are emerging to be a common ground.

Regardless of one’s political views, Americans in general have started to feel increasingly helpless when they post personal information online. Considering the fact several malicious parties have reportedly gathered consumer’s personal information from the social media platform, it is not surprising that people want more control over their private data.

At a time when people appear to have little faith in the federal government, only 18 percent of Americans said they trusted the authorities to make the best decisions about how to protect their privacy.

In addition, more than four in 10 people said once a piece of personal information is online there’s nothing they can do about it. Six in 10 said they wanted more control over the information companies might have on them.

Democrats and Republicans, the two main opposing political parties in the country, are separated by four points or less on questions about their personal control over online information. Plus, two-thirds of the members of both parties said they want more control over their personal data.

Furthermore, when it comes to trusting the government to make the best decisions about how to protect their privacy — 21 percent of Democrats versus 14 percent for Republicans placed their trust on the government.

These figures are indicative of something that hasn’t happened in a very long time: the nation’s two major political parties showing that kind of agreement on anything. That is one reason why the authorities won’t be able to sweep the issue under the carpet.

Only 22 percent of Americans said privacy concerns have caused them to reduce their internet usage.This survey goes to show people aren’t going to cut down on internet usage and this is one debate the majority care about and agrees upon.

However, it is yet to be seen whether Congress will take notice of this general consensus.

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