A privacy report, just issued by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, addresses the views of American adults, now that the country is two years past the disclosure of digital world “information collecting” by the National Security Agency (NSA).
One especially interesting finding of the report is that 91% of the adults surveyed believe they have lost control of their personal information (how it’s collected and how it is used). A majority of survey respondents also indicated that they would like more control over advertisers’ access to and uses of personal information. Read more about the report.
Often we do not think about the many digital footprints that adults leave behind in the digital world — digital footprints that give companies access to more information. Yet, as I work with children in the K-12 world, it is not uncommon for them to wonder aloud about the privacy of their parents. My students, as they learn about their own personal information dos and don’ts, also apply these lessons to the digital profiles of the adults in their lives.
Setting aside, for the moment, the mostly kid-related Internet problems of embarrassing mistakes and misjudgments, children often display insight beyond their years as they observe that their parents’ digital footprints — mobile calls, credit card payments, and countless texts — must be far greater than the digital footprints of any child. Certainly the Pew privacy report indicates that children’s surmises are correct and adults are now thinking about the security and of online information.
Two of the Pew Internet graphs from the report were especially interesting. The image on the top right illustrates how concerned people are about the collection and sharing of personal information. The image at the left depicts the degree of privacy that participants believe they have with each type of digital communication tool. If you go to the site of the report, there is more information along with additional graphs.
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