Email Privacy Survey: Fewer Than Half Have Read Policies

There’s been some controversy over email privacy in recent months. Most recently, Microsoft admitted to reading user emails to contain leaks of its products and software. Then Google announced that it is trying to beef up security for its Gmail service. But how concerned are email users about these privacy risks? And how knowledgeable are they about their provider’s policies?

email privacy

Email Privacy

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 37% of respondents said that they are very concerned about email privacy. 46% said they are somewhat concerned about email privacy. 15% said they are not very concerned. And just 3% said they are not concerned about email privacy at all.

Privacy Policies

But even though the majority of users claim to be at least somewhat concerned with email privacy, just 38% of respondents said that they have read or looked into their email provider’s privacy policies. Of those respondents, just 24% said they are very happy with their email provider’s privacy policies. 65% said they are somewhat satisfied. 10% are somewhat unsatisfied. And just 2% said they are very unsatisfied.

Email Providers

There are plenty of different email providers to choose from, each with their own set of standards and policies. In general, Gmail was the most popular, with 56% of respondents using it. 48% use Yahoo email. 27% use Hotmail or Outlook through Microsoft. And 24% use different email providers, such as AOL, Roadrunner, or Verizon.

Hotmail and Outlook users were actually the most privacy-concerned of the group. They were 8% more likely to say they are very concerned about email privacy, and 10% more likely to be aware of their provider’s policies. Yahoo users were 4% more likely to be concerned about privacy. Gmail users didn’t express more concern about email privacy than the overall panel, but they were 4% more likely to be aware of their provider’s privacy policies.

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: Gmail POP Troubleshooter Utility Screenshot 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 March 25 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.