Americans flunked this online privacy test


Source: Natasha Singer & Jason Karaian, N.Y.Times ( Paid Registration )

Many people in the United States would like to control the information that companies can learn about them online. Yet when presented with a series of true-or-false questions about how digital devices and services track users, most Americans struggled to answer them, according to a report by the University of Pennsylvania.

The survey results challenge a data-for-services trade-off argument that the tech industry has long used to justify consumer tracking and to forestall government limits on it: Consumers may freely use a host of convenient digital tools — as long as they agree to allow apps, sites, ad technology and marketing analytics firms to track their online activities and employ their personal information.  But the new report suggests that many Americans aren’t buying into the industry bargain.

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