July 16, 2013
With revelations of government spying coming one after another in recent weeks, it's perhaps no surprise that just under half of American adults (48%) trust the federal government to handle personal information privately and securely, down from 54% in 2009. Trust in the federal government is highest among those ages 18-34 years old, and lowest among those 55 and older (58% ages 18-34 and 39% ages 55+).
This puts the federal government well behind health providers (79%, up from 74% in 2009), major online retailers (74%, not asked in 2009) and banks/brokerage companies (68%, up from 59% in 2009), slightly behind small and/or independent online retailers (55%, also not asked in 2009) and on par with state and local governments (52%, down from 56% in 2009) and search and portal sites (49%, even with 2009 results), in terms of American's trust in their handling of personal information in a properly confidential and secure manner. Social networking sites are well behind the federal government, at 28% - though this does represent some growth in trust from 23% in 2009.
These are some of the results of
The Harris Poll
of 2,091 adults surveyed online
between June 28 and July 2, 2013
. (Full findings, including data tables and perceptions of other potential privacy threats, available
Privacy at risk from cyber-criminals, social media, government snoops and… your fellow Americans?
It is perhaps not surprising that the vast majority of Americans – nearly nine in ten (88%) – see cyber-criminals as a threat to their privacy, making this group the top threat among all those tested. Social networking sites are the next strongest perceived threat, with seven in ten (70%) perceiving such sites as threats to their privacy.