Online Privacy Survey: Internet Users Don’t Want Personal Information Shared

Online privacy has been a hot topic for years, but particularly over the past year as some information about certain government surveillance programs has come to light. How many internet users are concerned about their privacy online? And do they expect that the sites they use will keep their personal information completely private?

online privacy

Privacy Concerns

In Ask your Target Market’s latest survey, 47% of respondents said they are very concerned about online privacy. 44% said they are somewhat concerned about online privacy. 6% said they are not very concerned. And just 3% of respondents said that they are not concerned about online privacy at all. In general, 69% of respondents said that privacy concerns have kept them from signing up for certain sites or doing other types of online activities.

Privacy concerns may have calmed just a bit over the past year. In a June 2013 survey, 49% of respondents said they were very concerned about online privacy. However, the same amount said that privacy concerns had kept them from certain sites or online activities.

Privacy Expectations

So online privacy is definitely an issue for plenty of internet users. But others have argued that people simply shouldn’t put things online that they would like kept private. So do people feel like they should have a right to keep their information private? 70% of respondents feel that they should have a right to complete privacy online. 27% said they should have basic privacy rights online. And 3% said they don’t have any expectation of a right to privacy online.

Website Issues

But in recent years, there have been some issues preventing people from realizing their complete rights to privacy. From website breaches to online surveillance, how do people’s perceptions change when their information isn’t kept private? 47% of respondents said they definitely think less of a website when it experiences a privacy breach. 48% said their opinion of that website would be somewhat compromised. And just 6% said their opinion of a site wouldn’t change at all due to a privacy breach.

More specifically, 72% of respondents said they would definitely think less of a website or company upon learning that it shared personal information with government agencies or other third parties. 24% said their opinion would somewhat change. And just 5% said they wouldn’t care. In the June 2013 survey, just 68% said they would definitely think less of a company for sharing their information.

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: Protest against NSA surveillance 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 June 16 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.