Home Data Pew Report: 86% Of Online Users Attempt To Hide Their Digital Footprints

Pew Report: 86% Of Online Users Attempt To Hide Their Digital Footprints


data-privacyA few days after Acxiom unveiled Aboutthedata.com, a website where people can review the (sometimes inaccurate) online data that the marketing firm has collected about them, Pew Internet has published a report suggesting internet users are trying to remain anonymous online.

Out of a survey of 792 online users in the US, 86% of the respondents said they have attempted to remove or hide their digital footprints, such as by clearing cookies or encrypting their email. As for whom they are hiding from, 33% said hackers or criminals, 28% chose advertisers and 19% selected certain friends.

“Users clearly want the option of being anonymous online and increasingly worry that this is not possible,” said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project and an author of the report, in a statement. “Their concerns apply to an entire ecosystem of surveillance. In fact, they are more intent on trying to mask their personal information from hackers, advertisers, friends and family members than they are trying to avoid observation by the government.”

Photos were the most common type of personal content that was posted online (66%) followed by birthdays (50%) and email addresses (46%). More than half (66%) of the respondents said current privacy laws were “not good enough” while 24% said they provided reasonable protection.

Privacy advocates and members of California’s legislature are hoping to shed some light on the ways companies collect personally identifiable information online. California Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi has introduced a bill, AB 370, that would require website operators to explain how they respond to Do-Not-Track signals or “other mechanisms that provide consumers the ability to exercise choice regarding the collection of personally identifiable information about an individual consumer’s online activities over time and across third-party Web sites or online services, if the operator engages in that collection.”

The bill has passed both houses of the California Legislature and if signed by Governor Jerry Brown, could take effect next year.

Must Read

Comic: TFW Disney+ Goes AVOD

Disney Expands Its Audience Graph And Clean Room Tech Beyond The US

Disney expands its audience graph and clean room tech to Latin America, marking the first time it will be available outside the US. The announcement precedes this week’s launch of Disney+ with ads in Latin America.

Advertible Makes Its Case To SSPs For Running Native Channel Extensions

Companies like TripleLift that created the programmatic native category are now in their awkward tween years. Cue Advertible, a “native-as-a-service” programmatic vendor, as put by co-founder and CEO Tom Anderson.

Mozilla acquires Anonym

Mozilla Acquires Anonym, A Privacy Tech Startup Founded By Two Top Former Meta Execs

Two years after leaving Meta to launch their own privacy-focused ad measurement startup in 2022, Graham Mudd and Brad Smallwood have sold their company to Mozilla.

Privacy! Commerce! Connected TV! Read all about it. Subscribe to AdExchanger Newsletters

Nope, We Haven’t Hit Peak Retail Media Yet

The move from in-store to digital shopper marketing continues, as United Airlines, Costco, PayPal, Chase and Expedia make new retail media plays. Plus: what the DSP Madhive saw in advertising sales software company Frequence.

Comic: Ad-ception

The New York Times And Instacart Integrate For Shoppable Recipes

The New York Times and Instacart are partnering for shoppable recipe videos.

Experian Enters The Third-Party Data Onboarding Business

Experian entered the third-party data onboarder market on Tuesday with a new product based on its Tapad acquisition.