Since I was just talking about Edward Snowden and the impact of his leaks, here’s a Pew survey of Americans’ privacy habits post-Snowden.
Here are the headlines:
- 34% of those who are aware of the surveillance programs (30% of all adults) have taken at least one step to hide or shield their information from the government. For instance, 17% changed their privacy settings on social media; 15% use social media less often; 15% have avoided certain apps and 13% have uninstalled apps; 14% say they speak more in person instead of communicating online or on the phone; and 13% have avoided using certain terms in online communications.
- 25% of those who are aware of the surveillance programs (22% of all adults) say they have changed the patterns of their own use of various technological platforms “a great deal” or “somewhat” since the Snowden revelations. For instance, 18% say they have changed the way they use email “a great deal” or “somewhat”; 17% have changed the way they use search engines; 15% say they have changed the way they use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook; and 15% have changed the way they use their cell phones.
- Many have not considered or are not aware of some of the more commonly available tools that could make their communications and activities more private
- The public has divided sentiments about the surveillance programs:
- Most Americans believe it is acceptable to monitor others, except US citizens
- Americans have more muted concerns about government monitoring of their own digital behaviour
Lots more interesting stuff in the report.