Study: Young adults do care about online privacy

Despite mounds of anecdotes about college students sharing booze-chugging party photos, posting raunchy messages and badmouthing potential employers online, young adults generally care as much about privacy as older Americans, a new study finds. The report, from researchers at the University of California, 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 alike 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 young adults 18 to 24, 84 percent agreed — not far from the 90 percent among those 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. Although they grew up in the digital age, young people know surprisingly little about their rights to online privacy, the study found. They seem more confident than older adults that the government would protect them, even though U.S. privacy laws offer few such 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.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hTC6xGNe3KLeY7k1YGkTJxYt3QdwD9F3JLP81

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