NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Most Americans are concerned about the security and privacy of their personal data, according to a Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday. The survey asked 607 adults age 18 or older about their perspectives on the security and privacy of their personal data in the post-Edward Snowden era.
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Perhaps the most striking findings, according to the PEW researchers, was the lack of control Americans feel they have over their personal information. The majority of adults surveyed said they agreed or strongly agreed that it would be difficult to remove inaccurate information about themselves online. They blamed data collection by both the government and corporations for making it difficult for individuals to keep private information confidential.
Across the board, there was a universal lack of confidence in communications channels, particularly online tools, the Pew report said. When asked about six different types of communication, not one elicited a feeling of "very secure" for sharing private data with another trusted party.
For example, 81% of those surveyed said they were either "not very" or "not at all secure" about using social media sites for sharing private information. A little over half of those surveyed felt insecure about sending private information through text messaging or via email.
Offline communications fared a bit better. For cell phone conversations, 46% of the respondents said they were "not very" or "not at all secure" about the security of sharing private information. On the other hand, only 31% felt using a landline to share private data was "not very" or "not at all secure."
When questioned about advertisers and data collection, it turns out that these adults don't trust advertisers any more than they trust the government. Only 1% said advertisers can be trusted to do what is right nearly all the time. And 71% percent said that advertisers can be trusted only some of the time, while 16% said advertisers can't be trusted ever.
When asked about government controlling advertisers, some 64% of those surveyed believe the government could do more to regulate what advertisers do with their personal information, while 34% said the government shouldn't get more involved.