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A recent survey of U.S. consumers Consumer Attitudes toward Transparency in Data Collection found that fewer than half considered their understanding of online data use as “good.”
Yet consumers could definitely say who they don’t trust when the survey asked respondents to pick winners and losers among major brands in terms of their protection and use of consumer data.
In both cases, the vast majority of people could not cite a single example, but among those who could, Amazon was listed as a positive role model and Facebook and Google were deemed the worst abusers.
It probably doesn’t help that Google’s Eric Schmidt famously said, “If you have something you don’t want anyone to know, then maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
Actor and tech investor Ashton Kutcher and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have each said that if you’re not doing anything “wrong” then you don’t have anything to worry about when it comes to losing your privacy.
That’s easy — and profitable — for them to say.
Everyone making the decisions about collecting and selling our private data are more able than the rest of us to hide things they consider private or embarrassing. They can afford it.
Not only that, but they’re the ones who are wrong.
While the U.S. government gets ready to state the obvious later this week, and privacy profiteers dive into swimming pools of our personal data like Scrooge McDuck, telling us to stop sharing isn’t the answer.
No one has to give up Facebook or get off the internet.
We just need to be smarter about how we share, and who we share with. Look, it’s like this now: You get in a car, you put on a seat belt.
If we think about it like this, I think we might be able to stop worrying and start loving the Internet again.
Source: Associated Press