Privacy survey shows most people read the T&Cs, would sell their personal data

midian182

Posts: 8,335   +103
Staff member
In a nutshell: Many internet users worry about big tech companies gathering their personal data, but would you be happy to give up some privacy if it meant earning money in the process? Nearly half all the people asked this question in a recent survey said yes, they'd be perfectly fine with it.

Analytics firm Exploding Topics, which surfaces rapidly growing topics before they take off, set out to discover just how much people were aware of the data tech giants held on them. It surveyed 1,617 Americans about their views on personal data and content ownership.

The respondents' replies are certainly eye-opening, especially when it comes to selling personal data to companies. Almost half the participants (47.9%) said they would do it, 26.5% said they wouldn't, and the remaining 25.6% weren't sure.

There are several ways of selling your private data, including apps that reward people with cash or vouchers. But what about the data companies like Facebook and Google collect as standard? 70.9% of people think they should automatically earn money when these firms sell their data.

When Facebook shows an ad for something you've just been talking about

Another part of the survey asks about the lengthy terms and conditions users must agree to when joining services or using products. Almost 20% say they don't read them, 28.2% say they sometimes do, and 52.3% claim they always read the T&Cs, which sounds suspiciously high. Perhaps they've seen the 2011 South Park episode HumancenitiPad, in which Kyle finds himself in a compromising position after failing to read the Terms and Conditions when agreeing to the latest iTunes update.

Mark Zuckerberg does

It's noted that Microsoft has the longest privacy policies, containing an average of 11,806 words per policy, which would take around 59 minutes to read.

Over 50% of people trust Apple the most with their data—Microsoft is second with just 10%—so it seems Cupertino's efforts at emphasizing its privacy features are working. Surprisingly, TSMC is the least-trusted company, and, unsurprisingly, Facebook is trusted by just 1.1% of people.

Some other interesting parts of the report include IP addresses being the unique identifier most people wouldn't want to be collected, and most would prefer their GPS data to be collected than their Time Zone. Make sure to check out the full report here.

Thanks, TechRadar

Permalink to story.

 

Uncle Al

Posts: 9,356   +8,558
For the right price, no re-sale to other companies, and I can be selective on what data is sold I could agree but only if there were VERY strict laws about how that data was stored, protected, and tracked were in place. Frankly, a simple law that prohibited companies from requiring relinquishing info in order to join their site should be enacted. They have in past, present, and future made lots of money from advertisers and we should not be expected to supplement their income.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,838   +1,909
Frankly, a simple law that prohibited companies from requiring relinquishing info in order to join their site should be enacted.
Or we could just stick with that "freedom" concept we founded the nation on. If you don't like a company's policies, don't do business with them.

I will say, though, that basic contract law isn't necessarily being fulfilled by a user clicking OK to a multi-page small-font T&C popup. Burying contract terms in a manner that's intentionally concealed, confusing, or deceptive has long been held by courts as invalidating.
 

ScottSoapbox

Posts: 423   +786
This is why self-report performance survey data is useless for anything but headlines.

Do a study where the people sign up for something else (don't tell them about the actual study) on the computer and see how many people read the T&C for it. That is a scientific study.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,819   +6,049
"Privacy survey shows most people read the T&Cs"

Well, when you have to scroll through the whole thing to find the agree button, and that registers as "read", then I guess *technically* most people have *read* the T+C.
I came to post the same thing. I also had the thought that people reading that might see the question and think they has to "agree to continue"
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,812   +738
Holy crap that first pie chart is so absolutely atrocious that I could not help but laugh at it. I did not know 39% was almost 50% bigger than 61%!
 

p51d007

Posts: 3,377   +3,047
Well, considering they've been doing it for decades anyway, I guess getting paid would be a little help, but, it would probably be PENNIES if anything, or they would just say you earn "tokens" which then they will make it nearly impossible to use.
 

ZedRM

Posts: 1,364   +945
I'm one of those people. I read or at least skim through everything. Who are these people that agree to these kinds of things? Very much not smart.

With my PC's, they don't have a camera or microphone unless I plug one in. When I'm done with it, it's unplugged. It's not the responsibility for big companies or governments to "protect" us. It's our own responsibility.
 

DSirius

Posts: 368   +773
TechSpot Elite
I'm one of those people. I read or at least skim through everything. Who are these people that agree to these kinds of things? Very much not smart.

With my PC's, they don't have a camera or microphone unless I plug one in. When I'm done with it, it's unplugged. It's not the responsibility for big companies or governments to "protect" us. It's our own responsibility.
Agree, though I should add that it is companies responsibility to protect users data and abide the law regarding how they collect user data. And the reality is that all these big corporations, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Apple etc (I suppose chinese corporations Tencent, TikTok etc, too) collected and still grab users data without their consent, or full knowledge while breaking the law.
Remember Cambridge Analytica scandal, also the fact that american corporations give NSA, CIA full access to these personal users data without a mandate or court order.