Census Bureau Study Finds Continuing Online Privacy Concerns

According to a new study from the Census Bureau, online security and privacy remain major concerns for most Americans, but it also showed a decline in that concern from 2015.

In 2017, according to the report, which was released by the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, 73% of those surveyed reported privacy and security concerns, down from 84% in 2015.

Similarly, the percentage of households that said those concerns had kept them from conducting certain activities online had dropped from 45% to 33%. Almost one in ten said those concerns had kept them from using a search engine at some point in the past year.

But that was primarily due to a decreased perception of risk of identity theft. Concerns about data collection by online services and loss of control of personal info rates were approximately the same in 2017 as in 2015.

The Census Bureau interviewed over 52,000 households for the survey.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.