Friday, May 19, 2017

Americans Want More Say in the Privacy of Personal Data; Consumer Reports, May 18, 2017

Bree Fowler, Consumer Reports; Americans Want More Say in the Privacy of Personal Data

[Kip Currier: Take a look at Consumer Reports' latest survey data on U.S. consumers' concerns about privacy and their personal data: significant majorities want more control over what data is collected and more transparency (not less!) regarding what Internet service providers can and can't do with that personal data.

Then consider this May 18, 2017 disconnect: "The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), led by chairman Ajit Pai, voted two to one to start the formal process of dismantling “net neutrality” rules put in place in 2015."]

"The latest CR Consumer Voices survey reveals that people have been increasingly worried about the issue in 2017. Seventy percent of Americans lack confidence that their personal data is private and safe from distribution without their knowledge, according to the nationally representative survey of 1,007 adults conducted in April.

That number climbed from 65 percent since we first asked about the topic in January.

Respondents to the April survey also said they want more control over what data is collected. Ninety-two percent said that internet service providers, such as Comcast and Verizon, should be required to secure permission from users before selling or sharing their data. [Bold and larger font added for emphasis]

The same proportion thinks consumers should have the right to request a complete list of the data an internet service provider or website has collected about them.

Finally, respondents spoke out about how such data may be used to charge online shoppers different prices for the same goods and services—without consumers knowing about it. This kind of dynamic pricing can be based on factors from age to browsing history to home address. Sixty-five percent of respondents oppose the practice.

Though consumers say they want stronger privacy protections, federal actions are moving the rules in the opposite direction."

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