A majority of Americans believe their online and offline activities are being tracked and monitored by companies and the government with some regularity. It is such a common condition of modern life that roughly six-in-ten U.S. adults say they do not think it is possible to go through daily life without having data collected about them by companies or the government.
large shares of U.S. adults are not convinced they benefit from this system of widespread data gathering. Some 81% of the public say that the potential risks they face because of data collection by companies outweigh the benefits, and 66% say the same about government data collection. At the same time, a majority of Americans report being concerned about the way their data is being used by companies (79%) or the government (64%). Most also feel they have little or no control over how these entities use their personal information,
Among adults who say they ever read privacy policies before agreeing to their terms and conditions, only a minority – 22% – say they read them all the way through before agreeing to their terms and conditions.
There is also a general lack of understanding about data privacy laws among the general public: 63% of Americans say they understand very little or nothing at all about the laws and regulations that are currently in place to protect their data privacy.