Pew: Americans Would Trade Privacy For Safety - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
IT Leadership
News
1/14/2016
03:06 PM
100%
0%

Pew: Americans Would Trade Privacy For Safety

When it comes to coaxing personal information out of Americans, a Pew Research Center report found certain factors, like safety, lead to greater acceptance than cost savings can.

9 Ways To Bulletproof Your Privacy Policy
9 Ways To Bulletproof Your Privacy Policy
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Ever consider your privacy a bargaining chip? Apparently it is.

Americans are more apt to share their personal information in exchange for greater physical security than for savings on their utility bill, according to a Pew Research Center study released Thursday. The study explored how Americans balance their privacy concerns in exchange for cost savings, products, services, or other benefits.

The center surveyed 461 US adults and nine online focus groups of 80 people for the study. It turns out that the tipping-point issues in balancing these privacy concerns include: how valuable the benefit survey participants will receive is in return for their personal information, how they view the company or organization that is collecting the data, the length of time that the data is retained, and what is done with this data once it is collected.

Pew researchers used six hypothetical scenarios to gauge under which circumstances survey participants were willing to exchange their personal information for a product or service.

(Image: nikauforest/iStockphoto)

(Image: nikauforest/iStockphoto)

Take the case of surveillance cameras. When presented with a scenario where a company wanted to install high-resolution, face-recognition security cameras within the workplace after a spate of employees had their personal belongings stolen, 54% of the study's respondents said it would be acceptable.

Online health records also received a favorable response from a majority of those who participated in the study. Fifty-two percent of respondents agreed it would be acceptable for their doctor's office to upload and host their health records on a new health information Website. However, the tradeoff would be that patients would have access to their own health records, and appointment scheduling would potentially become easier. The scenario also said that the office promises it is a secure site.

[Read Uber Settles "God View" and Data Breach Investigation.]

But four other scenarios presented to the study's participants failed to win as much broad support as the surveillance cameras and health records:

  • Retail loyalty cards that aimed to save consumers money on their purchases, in exchange for tracking their shopping habits and selling the data to other companies and organizations, received an acceptable rating by 47% of study participants.
  • Auto insurance discounts offered to those who agreed to allow monitoring devices to be installed in their cars that tracked speed and location -- provided that results demonstrated safe driving -- also received a less than favorable response. According to the study, 37% of study participants said that scenario would be acceptable.
  • A free class reunion social media site that aimed to help manage communications about the event and connect former classmates, in exchange for sharing users' activities on the site with potential advertisers, received a poor response. Only 33% of study participants felt the trade-off was acceptable.
  • An inexpensive smart thermostat that tracked basic activities in the house, such as people's movement from room to room, received the lowest acceptance rate in the study. Twenty-seven percent of participants said it would be acceptable to collect this data, in exchange for potentially lowering their energy bill.

"There will be no 'SMART' anythings in this household," one survey respondent stated in the report. "I have enough personal data being stolen by the government and sold [by companies] to spammers now."

Also, 17% of study participants noted they would not exchange their personal information in any of the six scenarios -- and only 4% would.

**Elite 100 2016: DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JAN. 15, 2016** There's still time to be a part of the prestigious InformationWeek Elite 100! Submit your company's application by Jan. 15, 2016. You'll find instructions and a submission form here: InformationWeek's Elite 100 2016.

Dawn Kawamoto is a freelance writer and editor. She is an award-winning journalist who has written and edited technology, management, leadership, career, finance, and innovation stories for such publications as CNET's News.com, TheStreet.com, AOL's DailyFinance, and The ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
jagibbons
50%
50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
1/28/2016 | 9:20:42 AM
Re: Natural tendency
It is going to take a number of high profile identity fraud news stories for some people to change their thinking. Sadly, many never will.
nomii
50%
50%
nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
1/28/2016 | 9:16:39 AM
Re: Natural tendency

@Ksatron right observation there. I believe that most of the companys are getting benifitted by selling that assumption that their customers are more securer if they trust them with their money and private information. I think most of these firms are actually involved in creating that insecurity at first place and then giving its solution. Its just like computer virus that is released by companys that  after some time provide its anti viruses to sell their products. What do you say?           

nomii
50%
50%
nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
1/28/2016 | 9:10:43 AM
Re: Problem Solution....
"I think people are willing to expose themselves to a lack of security, in order to make some money. I think most of the participants mentioned in the article truly believe that the risk of their security being breached is unlikely, so they take the risk for financial compensation.  I havr participated in focus groups before, in exchange for money. however, I am selective and cautious as to which I choose to participate in"


@Angelfuego I agree with your point of money making but can you please elaborate your point of view as you mentioned that "people are willing to expose themselves to a lack of security". I will be obliged.

nomii
50%
50%
nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
1/28/2016 | 9:06:42 AM
Re: Problem Solution....

@Jagibbons we need to have choices in our own hand. Whatever the direction we follow should be of our own choice. There must be some alternate to that. May be its not visible and things seems to be progressing in right direction but they will eventually change. Your point of illusion is very valid and to the point. I agree with you there.

kstaron
50%
50%
kstaron,
User Rank: Ninja
1/26/2016 | 12:15:43 PM
Natural tendency
There has always been a tendency for people to give up any rights (privacy or other rights) to secure what they perceive as security and safety. Feeling safe is one of our basic needs so if someone can convince us we will be safe (or aren't as safe as we think we already are) by using a product we might let them have more money/time/information about us. The problem is now that our private information is becoming a part of our safety and keeping it private is much better for our safety than giving it away for some perceived sense of security. That still hasn't sunk in for many people.
Angelfuego
50%
50%
Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
1/19/2016 | 6:19:21 PM
Re: Problem Solution....
jaggibons, Valid point. I think it makes a huge difference as to whether one consents to data involving one's self being released. It is a violation. If a person agrees to take the risk of sharing his/her opinion or information in exchange for money than that is the risk s/he takes. One way is voluntarily consenting with the idea that their is a possibility of your privacy being violated but going foprward for the certain financial gain. The other is a violation, in which the peraon never agreed to have any information released.  There is a huge difference.
jagibbons
50%
50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
1/19/2016 | 6:19:14 PM
Re: Problem Solution....
People who don't understand the risks of losing privacy are more willing to give up information for money. It is a bit sad how many don't understand the long term risks.
Angelfuego
50%
50%
Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
1/19/2016 | 6:13:30 PM
Re: Problem Solution....
I think people are willing to expose themselves to a lack of security, in order to make some money. I think most of the participants mentioned in the article truly believe that the risk of their security being breached is unlikely, so they take the risk for financial compensation.  I havr participated in focus groups before, in exchange for money. however, I am selective and cautious as to which I choose to participate in. For example, I do not get involved with any groups involving cameras or social media.
jagibbons
50%
50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
1/18/2016 | 12:22:06 PM
Re: Problem Solution....
In marketing theory, the illusion of choice is just as effective as actually having a choice. It's not true, but most consumers don't think about the difference. I agree with you that things are evolving in that direction.
nomii
50%
50%
nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
1/18/2016 | 10:53:08 AM
Re: Problem Solution....

@jagibbons absolutely its a matter of perspective. But I feel that the things are going in a way through planning where you have only one choice which " they" and by hook or by crook they will force you to make that choice. Its slowly but surely changing the choices of few initially  but  after some time things will pace up. thats how I feel. What do  you  say ?

Page 1 / 2   >   >>
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll