For all the conveniences offered by a digitized world, the risks are headline grabbing. Just ask Target. Or Jennifer Lawrence. Or the data brokers being scrutinized by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. And, I guess as of today, we can add Home Depot to the list too.

CivicScience instead asked U.S. adults to voice their concern levels and risk assessments via a number of data privacy-related questions running across our web-based polling network. (No, the irony is not lost on us – but because we don’t collect any personally identifying information, we hope the public feels their opinion data is safe with us. And for the record, our polling privacy policy can be found here.)

In this first of a two-part series of reports, we look at six (6) questions related to Internet-based data sharing and collection. Among some of the things we found:

  • 49% of respondents are “very concerned” about their general privacy when using the Internet. Younger respondents and those with higher incomes are more likely to show lesser degrees of concern. Social media engagements also correlates with lower concerns about Internet privacy.
  • Concern levels increase when asked about “people you do not know obtaining personal information about you from your activity on the Internet.”
  • 83% of respondents “strongly believe” that companies seeking personal information line should disclose ALL the ways the data is collected and used, and 88% believe that information they submit should never be used for any other reason outside its original intent.
  • However, when it comes to making online purchases, consumers don’t feel as strongly that they are asked to submit too much personal info: Only 41% said they are “very concerned” about this.

For the full report and its deeper insights, please download the PDF here. We don’t even ask you to submit data to get it! Part 2 of the report will be released later in September 2014.

Consumer sentiment toward data privacy on the Internet