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In What Situations Are Americans Willing to Share Personal Information? [Infographic]

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
January 21, 2016

Under various circumstances, many Americans would share personal information or permit surveillance in return for getting something of perceived value, according to a recent report from the Pew Research Center.

The report was based on data from survey of 461 US adults as well as in-person interviews with nine online focus groups of 80 people. Participants were presented with six situations involving privacy tradeoffs, then asked for their reaction to each.

Most respondents (54%) say it is acceptable for employers to install monitoring cameras if there has been a series of workplace thefts, and nearly half (47%) are willing to let stores track their purchases via programs such as loyalty cards in exchange for occasional discounts.

However, most (55%) respondents say they do not feel comfortable allowing a company to install a "smart thermostat" in their home that would monitor their movements in exchange for a potentially lower energy bill.

Most (51%) also would not join a new social media platform that would help them reconnect with old classmates in exchange for a real name, a photo, and permission to serve targeted ads.

Some 17% of of all respondents say they wouldn't take any of the deals described in the six scenarios presented in the study, and 4% say they would accept all of the deals.

For more findings from the report, check out the infographic:

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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