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.
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.
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.