American Surveillance Now Threatens American Business

A new study finds that a vast majority of Americans trust neither the government nor tech companies with their personal data.

What does it look like when a society loses its sense of privacy?

In the almost 18 months since the Snowden files first received coverage, writers and critics have had to guess at the answer. Does a certain trend, consumer complaint, or popular product epitomize some larger shift? Is trust in tech companies eroding—or is a subset just especially vocal about it?

Polling would make those answers clear, but polling so far has been… confused. A new study, conducted by the Pew Internet Project last January and released last week, helps make the average American’s view of his or her privacy a little clearer.

And their confidence in their own privacy is … low.

The study’s findings—and the statistics it reports—stagger. Vast majorities of Americans are uncomfortable with how the government uses their data, how private companies use and distribute their data, and what the government does to regulate those companies.

Read more: The Atlantic


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