Civil Liberties Survey: Americans Very Concerned With Privacy Issues

After the recent bombings in Boston, some high-level government officials made comments that have some Americans worried about their privacy and civil liberties. The comments dealt with the government’s access to phone conversations and other types of digital communication. What do Americans think about the anti-terrorism policies that might impact privacy and civil liberties? Which issue do they feel is more important?

phone surveillance

Digital Communications

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 40% of respondents said that they constantly use forms of digital communication, such as phone and email. 23% said they use digital communication a few times per day. 27% said they use digital communication daily. Fewer than 10% said they use digital communication less than once per day. And just 2% said they never use it.

So the vast majority of Americans would be impacted if these communications were monitored, but how do they feel about the issue at hand? 69% of those who use digital communication methods said that they would feel like it was a violation of privacy for their conversations to be monitored. Just 13% said they would feel safer knowing the government had access to these communications. And 19% said they wouldn’t care either way.

Important Issues

Looking forward, just 5% of Americans said that they would definitely support new anti-terrorism policies that may restrict civil liberties, such as increased phone surveillance. 28% said they would probably support such policies. 40% said they would probably not support such policies. And 27% said they would definitely be against any new anti-terrorism policies that might impact civil liberties.

Civil Liberties

In the years since 9/11, there have been many added anti-terrorism policies put into place, some of which have come under scrutiny for negatively impacting civil liberties. 25% of Americans said they feel that their civil liberties have been negatively impacted very much in recent years. 42% said they have been somewhat impacted. 27% said they don’t really think their civil liberties have been negatively impacted. And just 6% said they don’t think their civil liberties have been impacted negatively at all in recent years.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: HA1-000369 from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on May 6 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.