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[liberationtech] Pew: Anonymity, Privacy, and Security Online
collin at averysmallbird.com
Sun Sep 8 22:24:15 PDT 2013
This was linked to in the FP piece on Alexander, and should hopefully be of
interest to many here in privacy and CFAA work (14% have used VPNs, Tor,
etc). - Collin
Most internet users would like to be anonymous online at least
occasionally, but many think it is not possible to be completely anonymous
online. New findings in a national survey show:
- 86% of internet users have taken steps online to remove or mask their
digital footprints—ranging from clearing cookies to encrypting their email,
from avoiding using their name to using virtual networks that mask their
internet protocol (IP) address.
- 55% of internet users have taken steps to avoid observation by
specific people, organizations, or the government
- Still, 59% of internet users do not believe it is possible to be
completely anonymous online, while 37% of them believe it is possible.
A section of the survey looking at various security-related issues finds
that notable numbers of internet users say they have experienced problems
because others stole their personal information or otherwise took advantage
of their visibility online—including hijacked email and social media
accounts, stolen information such as Social Security numbers or credit card
information, stalking or harassment, loss of reputation, or victimization
- 21% of internet users have had an email or social networking account
compromised or taken over by someone else without permission.
- 13% of internet users have experienced trouble in a relationship
between them and a family member or a friend because of something the user
- 12% of internet users have been stalked or harassed online.
- 11% of internet users have had important personal information stolen
such as their Social Security Number, credit card, or bank account
- 6% of internet users have been the victim of an online scam and lost
- 6% of internet users have had their reputation damaged because of
something that happened online.
- 4% of internet users have been led into physical danger because of
something that happened online.
- 1% of internet users have lost a job opportunity or educational
opportunity because of something they posted online or someone posted about
Some 68% of internet users believe current laws are not good enough in
protecting people’s privacy online and 24% believe current laws provide
Most internet users know that key pieces of personal information about them
are available online—such as photos and videos of them, their email
addresses, birth dates, phone numbers, home addresses, and the groups to
which they belong. And growing numbers of internet users (50%) say they are
worried about the amount of personal information about them that is
online—a figure that has jumped from 33% who expressed such worry in 2009.
People would like control over their information, saying in many cases it
is very important to them that only they or the people they authorize
should be given access to such things as the content of their emails, the
people to whom they are sending emails, the place where they are when they
are online, and the content of the files they download.
*Collin David Anderson*
averysmallbird.com | @cda | Washington, D.C.
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