Make us your home page
Instagram

Study finds young adults value privacy — online and off

NEW YORK — All the dirty laundry younger people seem to air on social networks these days might lead older Americans to conclude that today's tech-savvy generation doesn't care about privacy.

Such an assumption fits happily with declarations that privacy is dead, as online marketers and social sites such as Facebook try to persuade people to share even more about who they are, what they are thinking and where they are at any given time.

But it's not quite true, a 2009 survey of U.S. adults finds. Despite mounds of anecdotes about college students sharing booze-chugging party photos, posting raunchy messages and bad-mouthing potential employers online, young adults generally care as much about privacy as older Americans do.

The report, from researchers at the University of California in Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania, is among the first quantitative studies looking at young people's attitudes toward privacy as government officials and corporate executives increasingly grapple with such issues.

Among the findings:

• Eighty-eight percent of people of all ages said they have refused to give out information to a business because they thought it was too personal or unnecessary. Among young adults, 82 percent have refused, compared with 85 percent of those over 65.

• Most people — 86 percent — believe that anyone who posts a photo or video of them on the Internet should get their permission first, even if that photo was taken in public. Among those ages 18 to 24, 84 percent agreed — not far from the 90 percent among those ages 45 to 54.

• Forty percent of adults ages 18 to 24 believe executives should face jail time if their company uses someone's personal information illegally — the same as the response among those 35 to 44 years old.

"Yes, there are some young people who are posting racy photographs and personal information. But those anecdotes might not represent what the average young person is doing online," said Chris Hoofnagle, co-author of the study and director of information privacy programs at the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology.

Although they grew up in the digital age, young people know little about their rights to online privacy, the study found. They seem more confident than older adults that the government would protect them, though U.S. privacy laws offer few safeguards.

The lack of knowledge about the law, coupled with an online environment that encourages people to share personal information, may be one reason young people can seem careless about privacy, according to the study.

Study finds young adults value privacy — online and off 04/15/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 15, 2010 9:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. SeaWorld shares drop Monday to 2017 low after disclosure of federal subpoena

    Tourism

    The Orlando parent company of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks saw its stock drop 3.5 percent Monday to $15.10, its lowest price of this year.

    Killer whales perform at Shamu Stadium at SeaWorld in Orlando in 2011, before public pressure was placed on the theme park company to curtail its orca shows.SeaWorld has since announced an end to the traditional killer whale entertainment  at its theme parks. [AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack]
  2. Rick Scott appoints longtime ally Jimmy Patronis as Florida CFO

    State Roundup
    Rick Scott appoints Jimmy Patronis (background) as CFO. [STEVE BOUSQUET | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Local gas prices plummet as Fourth of July holiday travel approaches

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Local gas prices are enjoying an unseasonal dip around the $2 mark just in time for the hectic Fourth of July holiday travel weekend.

    The price of regular unleaded gasoline has dropped to $1.99 at a Rally station on Pasadena Ave. South and Gulfport Boulevard South, South Pasadena.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  4. Air bag recalls, lawsuits lead Takata to file for bankruptcy

    Autos

    Shattered by recall costs and lawsuits, Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. filed Monday for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., saying it was the only way it could keep on supplying replacements for faulty air bag inflators linked to the deaths of at least 16 people.

    Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. CEO Shigehisa Takada bows during a press conference in Tokyo on Monday. Takata has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of defective air bag inflators.
[(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi]
  5. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.

    Corporate

    DETROIT — Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of faulty air bag inflators.