How Americans View Data Privacy

Pew Research: “…Americans – particularly Republicans – have grown more concerned about how the government uses their data. The share who say they are worried about government use of people’s data has increased from 64% in 2019 to 71% today. That reflects rising concern among Republicans (from 63% to 77%), while Democrats’ concern has held steady. (Each group includes those who lean toward the respective party.)

The public increasingly says they don’t understand what companies are doing with their data. Some 67% say they understand little to nothing about what companies are doing with their personal data, up from 59%.

Most believe they have little to no control over what companies or the government do with their data. While these shares have ticked down compared with 2019, vast majorities feel this way about data collected by companies (73%) and the government (79%).

We’ve studied Americans’ views on data privacy for years. The topic remains in the national spotlight today, and it’s particularly relevant given the policy debates ranging from regulating AI to protecting kids on social media. But these are far from abstract concepts. They play out in the day-to-day lives of Americans in the passwords they choose, the privacy policies they agree to and the tactics they take – or not – to secure their personal information. We surveyed 5,101 U.S. adults using Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel to give voice to people’s views and experiences on these topics.

In addition to the key findings covered on this page, the three chapters of this report provide more detail on: