Welcome!

News Feed Item

Americans are Increasingly Unlikely to Trust the Federal Government with Personal Info

Social networking sites, search/portal sites and their fellow Americans - in possession of camera-equipped devices - also seen as threats to privacy

NEW YORK, Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- It seems that lately, privacy and personal data have been permanent fixtures in the news cycle. Between revelations of government snooping, consumer data breaches, and social media experiments, it can be tough to trust anyone with your personal information these days. In fact, only four in ten American adults (40%) trust the federal government to handle personal information confidentially and securely, while six in ten (60%) don't trust it. This mistrust, which rose by six percentage points from 2009 (46%) to 2013 (52%), has grown by an additional eight percentage points in just the past year. Americans have also grown more mistrustful of state and local governments in this regard (from 44% in 2009 to 48% in 2013 and 54% in 2014).

Harris Poll Logo

So, who do Americans trust to properly handle this type of information? Majorities trust health providers (76%), major online retailers (70%) banks/brokerage companies (65%), small/local brick and mortar retailers (64%), chain/big box brick and mortar retailers (59%) and small and/or independent online retailers (52%) to handle personal information in a properly confidential and secure manner. Trust in social networking sites (26%), in turn, lags well behind the level of trust observed for the federal government.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,306 U.S. adults surveyed online from July 16 to 21, 2014.

(To see the full results including data tables, click here)

Suspicious minds – some more than others

Americans' attitudes toward the government tend to fluctuate greatly along political lines, and this issue is no different: majorities of Republicans and Independents don't trust either the federal government (71% Republicans, 66% Independents) or state and local governments (60% and 61%, respectively) to handle their personally identified information in a properly confidential and secure manner. On the other hand, majorities of Democrats do trust both the federal government (56%) and state/local governments (60%) to do so.

Millennials are significantly more likely than their elders to trust both the federal government (47% Millennials vs. 38% Gen Xers, 37% Baby Boomers and 32% Matures) and state/local governments (52% vs. 40%, 44% and 41%, respectively) to handle their personal info confidentially and securely; the same holds true for social networking sites (37% vs. 26%, 20% and 13%, respectively). On the other end of the age spectrum, Matures are more likely than their younger counterparts to have this sort of trust in banks and brokerage companies (78%, vs. 66% Baby Boomers, 60% Gen Xers and 63% Millennials), though it should be noted that a strong majority of Americans do trust such institutions across generational lines.

Threat assessments

As seen in 2013, the vast majority of Americans – nearly nine in ten (88% in both 2013 and 2014) – see cyber-criminals as a threat to their privacy, making this group the top perceived threat among all those tested. Social networking sites continue to be the next strongest perceived threat, with three-fourths (76%, up from 70% in 2013) perceiving such sites as threats to their privacy.

Strong – and growing – majorities of Americans also feel their privacy is threatened by both government agencies (federal - 68%, up from 60%; state local - 64%, up from 56%) and camera-equipped devices in the hands of their fellow Americans (wearable tech devices – 68%, up from 63%; phones – 67%, up from 59%). Search and portal sites round out Americans top perceived threats to their privacy (65%, up from 53%).

When asked which represents the greatest threat to their privacy – cyber-criminals, the federal government, or their fellow Americans (with access to camera-equipped devices) – over six in ten Americans specify cyber-criminals (62%). However, three in ten (29%) point to the federal government as the greatest threat to their privacy, with Republicans (35%) and Independents (36%) more than twice as likely as Democrats (16%) to do so.

Corporations getting mixed messages

Americans continue to show mixed attitudes in regards to corporate America's use of access to and use of consumers' personal info. While three-fourths (76%, in line with 75% last year) believe that consumers have lost all control over how personal information is collected and used by companies, seven in ten (71%, up from 64%) believe that most businesses handle the personal information they collect about consumers in a proper and confidential way. Over half (54%, up from 49%) believe that existing laws and organizational practices provide a reasonable level of protection for consumer privacy today.

Consumer caution

Four in ten Americans (40%) indicate that they're making more purchases with cash due to being worried about credit card/ID theft, with Millennials and Gen Xers showing especially strong likelihoods to agree with this sentiment (45% each, vs. 37% Baby Boomers and 29% Matures). Additionally, over a third of Americans (36%) say they're shopping online less due to security concerns.

To see other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.

Want Harris Polls delivered to your inbox? Click here!

Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online, in English, within the United States between July 16 and 21, 2014 among 2,306 adults (aged 18 and over), of whom 457 have school-aged children. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

The Harris Poll® #78, August 7, 2014

By Larry Shannon-Missal, Manager, Harris Poll Content

About Nielsen & The Harris Poll

On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll.  Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

Press Contact: 
Corporate Communications
The Harris Poll 
212-539-9600 
[email protected]

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO

SOURCE The Harris Poll

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, will introduce two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a...
yperConvergence came to market with the objective of being simple, flexible and to help drive down operating expenses. It reduced the footprint by bundling the compute/storage/network into one box. This brought a new set of challenges as the HyperConverged vendors are very focused on their own proprietary building blocks. If you want to scale in a certain way, let’s say you identified a need for more storage and want to add a device that is not sold by the HyperConverged vendor, forget about it....
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo is an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalized support service from its globally located cloud platform...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory?
SYS-CON Events announced today that Elastifile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Elastifile Cloud File System (ECFS) is software-defined data infrastructure designed for seamless and efficient management of dynamic workloads across heterogeneous environments. Elastifile provides the architecture needed to optimize your hybrid cloud environment, by facilitating efficient...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Launched in 2016, Cloudistics helps anyone bring the power of the cloud to the data center in an easy-to-use, on- premises cloud platform that automatically provides high performance resources for all types of applications: Docke...
With Cloud Foundry you can easily deploy and use apps utilizing websocket technology, but not everybody realizes that scaling them out is not that trivial. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Roman Swoszowski, CTO and VP, Cloud Foundry Services, at Grape Up, will show you an example of how to deal with this issue. He will demonstrate a cloud-native Spring Boot app running in Cloud Foundry and communicating with clients over websocket protocol that can be easily scaled horizontally and coordinate...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Golden Gate University will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Since 1901, non-profit Golden Gate University (GGU) has been helping adults achieve their professional goals by providing high quality, practice-based undergraduate and graduate educational programs in law, taxation, business and related professions. Many of its courses are taug...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Golden Gate University will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Since 1901, non-profit Golden Gate University (GGU) has been helping adults achieve their professional goals by providing high quality, practice-based undergraduate and graduate educational programs in law, taxation, business and related professions. Many of its courses are taug...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels, a cybersecurity firm, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Channels, Inc. offers several products and solutions to its many clients, helping them protect critical data from being compromised and access to computer networks from the unauthorized. The company develops comprehensive data encryption security strategie...
Vulnerability management is vital for large companies that need to secure containers across thousands of hosts, but many struggle to understand how exposed they are when they discover a new high security vulnerability. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, John Morello, CTO of Twistlock, will address this pressing concern by introducing the concept of the “Vulnerability Risk Tree API,” which brings all the data together in a simple REST endpoint, allowing companies to easily grasp the severity of t...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SkyScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SkyScale is a world-class provider of cloud-based, ultra-fast multi-GPU hardware platforms for lease to customers desiring the fastest performance available as a service anywhere in the world. SkyScale builds, configures, and manages dedicated systems strategically located in maximum-security...