New Survey: Majority of Americans Want Individual Control, Not More Government Regulation, When It Comes to Data and Privacy

    By a 2 to 1 margin, Americans prefer to be empowered to take control of their online data and privacy instead of having the government adopt new rules for Internet providers, according to a new Protect Internet Freedom (PIF) survey conducted by Morning Consult. The PIF national survey of 2,040 registered voters was conducted by Morning Consult April 8-11. Among the key findings:

    • Americans feel Google tops the NSA in tracking them online – The survey breaks down where Americans feel their online privacy is most at risk with 25% of respondents believing Google tracks the online behavior of Internet users the most, followed by the NSA (23%) and Facebook (16%).
    • Consumers do not trust online companies with their private information – 54% of respondents said they have little to no confidence that their online information is kept secure by online search and social media companies. For comparison, 59% are confident banks keep their online information secure and 51% feel the same way about their ISP.
    • New FCC privacy rules won’t protect Internet users – With the FCC excluding companies like Google, Facebook and other content providers from following their proposed privacy regulations, only 32% of respondents believe the FCC’s new rules will actually improve their online privacy.
    • “Do Not Track” opt-out is better – By a 2 to 1 margin, respondents agree that empowering Internet users to take control of their own data through an easy opt-out method, similar to Do Not Call, is better for privacy protection than selective government regulation.

    “These findings should be a clear message to lawmakers and regulators: Americans may be concerned about their online privacy but government regulation that handpicks the Obama Administration’s biggest corporate supporters for special exemptions while regulating everyone else is the type of cronyism that Americans find appalling,” said PIF National Director Drew Johnson. “Instead, the individual should have the ability to universally opt-in or opt-out of the pervasive tracking imposed by the government and its favored corporate partners as they wish.”

    Read Summary of Morning Consult survey.

    Protect Internet Freedom is a grassroots, nonprofit organization of 1.6 million supporters dedicated to defending a truly free and open Internet, and preserving it as a tool for democratic distribution of information, societal change, and technological innovation