Study: Consumers dislike giving up personal data but feel powerless to stop It

“Should consumers be able to control how companies collect and use their personal data?” Natasha Singer reports for The New York Times. “At a dinner honoring privacy advocates this week in Washington, Timothy D. Cook, the chief executive of Apple, gave a speech in which he endorsed this simple idea. Yet his argument leveled a direct challenge to the premise behind much of the Internet industry — the proposition that people blithely cede their digital bread crumbs to companies in exchange for free or reduced-priced services subsidized by advertising.”

“‘You might like these so-called free services,’ Mr. Cook said. ‘But we don’t think they’re worth having your email or your search history or now even your family photos data-mined and sold off for God knows what advertising purpose,'” Singer reports. “Now a study from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania has come to a similar conclusion: Many Americans do not think the trade-off of their data for personalized services, giveaways or discounts is a fair deal either. The findings are likely to fuel the debate among tech executives and federal regulators over whether companies should give consumers control over the information collected about them.”

“55 percent of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed that ‘it’s O.K. if a store where I shop uses information it has about me to create a picture of me that improves the services they provide for me,'” Singer reports. “Among people who took part in the survey, 84 percent strongly or somewhat agreed that they wanted to have more control over what marketers could learn about them; at the same time, 65 percent agreed that they had come to accept that they had little control over it.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Ah, the insidiousness of diminished expectations.

Consumers have all the power necessary, they just have to not be lazy and instead resolve to make the proper choices. Before signing up for something, do a little research.

If this means not participating in certain social media circle-jerks and uploading every photo you’ve ever taken to an internet advertising firm, so be it.


Tim Cook gets privacy and encryption: We shouldn’t surrender them to Google – June 4, 2015
Dvorak: Google Photos is too creepy – June 3, 2015
Tim Cook attacks Google, U.S. federal government over right to privacy abuses – June 3, 2015
The price you’ll pay for Google’s ‘free’ photo storage – June 3, 2015
Apple CEO Tim Cook champions privacy, blasts ‘so-called free services’ – June 3, 2015
Passing on Google Photos for iOS: Read the fine print before you sign up for Google’s new Photos service – June 1, 2015
Why Apple’s Photos beats Google Photos, despite price and shortcomings – May 30, 2015
Is Apple is losing the photo wars? – May 29, 2015
How Google aims to delve deeper into users’ lives – May 29, 2015
Apple CEO Cook: Unlike some other companies, Apple won’t invade your right to privacy – March 2, 2015
Survey: People trust U.S. NSA more than Google – October 29, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook ups privacy to new level, takes direct swipe at Google – September 18, 2014
Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for government, police – even with search warrants – September 18, 2014
U.S. NSA watching, tracking phone users with Google Maps – January 28, 2014
U.S. NSA secretly infiltrated Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say – October 30, 2013
Google has already inserted some U.S. NSA code into Android – July 10, 2013
Court rules NSA doesn’t have to reveal its semi-secret relationship with Google – May 22, 2013
Edward Snowden’s privacy tips: ‘Get rid of Dropbox,” avoid Facebook and Google – October 13, 2014


  1. I don’t think it’s being lazy nearly so much as just being cheap. Free services with a catch are a powerful allure for the budget minded. If everything had a price tag attached to it it probably would not be nearly as successful so evil incarnate companies like Google try to find ways to use people’s own natures and tendencies against them.

    1. But these free services do not come with FULL DISCLOSURE …which should be required by the FCC. I think most people really do not understand the extent to which their data is being mined.

  2. I can’t afford free.

    Got rid of facebook and shutdown gmail account. Using duckduckgo for searches. Also periodically use ccleaner on my mac.

  3. I still think that the 24/7/365 digital stalking for profit by the data miners and cookie monsters is illegal. Nowhere do I see where a law was passed or a Federal Court decision has finalized that digital privacy expectations should be nil.

  4. No, we’re NOT powerless to stop it. That’s silly and sounds sooo enabling of what amounts to sheeple herding. It’s also an incredibly lazy statement. “It’s too complicated to maintain my privacy” is Bahhh! Bahhhh!

    I get the idea that even when people have their hand held, they’re going to allow themselves be herded.

    Oops, I left my cynicism process running. 😛

    1. Tools to maintain personal privacy, in no particular order:

      – Little Snitch – $35
      – Cookie – $15
      – Cookie Stumbler – $20
      – Self-Destructing Cookies – free
      – NoScript – donationware
      – JS Blocker – donationware
      – DuckDuckGo – free, no ads
      AdBlock – donationware
      – Ghostery – free
      – BetterPrivacy – free
      – Disconnect – free, paid upgrade
      – Calomel SSL Verification – free
      – Dr. Web Anti-virus Link Checker – free
      – FlashBlock – free
      Google Analytics Opt-Out – free
      – HTTPS Everywhere – free
      – HTTP Nowhere – free
      Privacy Badger – free
      – DNSCrypt – free
      – OpenDNS – free
      – ClickToFlash – free
      – ClickToPlugin – free
      – Apple’s OS X built-in firewall, XProtect, Gatekeeper, FileVault, Firmware Password Utility, Messages, FaceTime, Keychain, Disk Utility (built in encryption), Standard accounts (no Admin access) – free
      – Certificate Patrol – free
      – Arq – $40
      – Netcraft Anti-Phishing Toolbar – free
      – μBlock – free
      – FlashStopper – free
      – SSL Version Control – free
      – WOT – free
      – Smart Referer – free
      – miniLock – free
      – 1Password – $50
      – Intego Internet Security X8 (VirusBarrier & NetBarrier) $50 (currently $25 at MacUpdate on sale)
      – GPG Suite (OpenPGP) – free
      – DataGuardian – $20
      – Digital Sentry – $20
      – Wallet – $20
      – TorBrowser – free
      – OpenVPN – free
      – FileWard $10
      – Encrypto – free
      – Concealer – $20
      – ClamXav – Donationware
      – iSentry – free
      – Hands Off! – $50
      – Cryptocat – free
      – WhatsOpen – free
      – Rootkit Hunter – free
      – Lockdown – free
      – iAlertU – free
      – LastPass – free

      And there are more.
      (Apologies to those I left out).

      1. You did a service for us by providing this list. Should be un-necessary. For one, how many security holes could be introduced by all these utilities. Secondly, they consume resources.

        Wouldn’t it be better to have the power of law over what is proper? That doesn’t stop the criminals, but it will curb corporate behavior.

    2. “I get the idea that even when people have their hand held, they’re going to allow themselves be herded. ”

      Hate to tell you this, but we agree.

      Now, having rightly defended privacy (a fourteenth amendment derivative), perhaps you would pursue first amendment concepts and insist iOS open up to other stores. That way, curation (Apple’s right) does not need to be tantamount to censorship.

  5. Derek…. Who gives a flying fuck. Your usual rants and drawn out crap. Stop with the usual posting of fucking shit dickhead! No one really gives two shits what you winge and bitch about. You winy little bitch!

      1. Trolls can provide a useful tool. Sometimes they expose a worthwhile aspect such as with The Onion. But today, we find the troll is a tool.

  6. Lest anyone think my cynicism is “Apple only”, I would definitely make search a public utility. Reasons for this are that you cannot use the internet without Google making money. That is, you can’t choose to not be a customer or participant.

  7. Thomas Ricker, writing for The Verge::

    “Arguably, Google Maps is better than Apple Maps, Gmail is better than Apple Mail, Google Drive is better than iCloud, Google Docs is better than iWork, and Google Photos can “surprise and delight” better than Apple Photos. Even with the risks.

    If Apple truly cares about our privacy then it should stop talking about how important [privacy] is and start building superior cloud-based services we want to use — then it can protect us.”

  8. “If this means not participating in certain social media circle-jerks and uploading every photo you’ve ever taken to an internet advertising firm, so be it.”

    Amen, MDN! I will not join Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. ad nauseum as I value maintaining a distinction between what is public and what is private. If we lose our sense of boundaries we should not be surprised when they are violated.

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