Magazine article Security Management

Consumers Read, Misunderstand Privacy Policies

Magazine article Security Management

Consumers Read, Misunderstand Privacy Policies

Article excerpt

Though Web sites regularly collect information on visitors, many Americans oven those who claim to understand Web site privacy policies--erroneously believe that sites with privacy policies will not share that information with other sites or companies, according to a new study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

As many as 57 percent of the 1,200 American adults interviewed reported that they believed that when a Web site has a privacy policy, "it will not share their personal information with other websites end companies," the study concludes. And while almost half of those surveyed said that privacy policies are easy to understand, 66 percent of these respondents "also believe (incorrectly) that sites with a privacy policy won't share data."

The study also shows that Internet users are conflicted about how much faith to put in the government to solve privacy problems. While only 13 percent trust the government not to disclose personal information without permission, more than 80 percent would like to see laws implemented that force Web sites to have a standard format to help protect personal information. Standards that make it easier to understand privacy policies already exist; however, they are not widely implemented. …

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