According to a recent study conducted by advertising agency McCann, 59 percent of the 1,100 individuals surveyed believe that Facebook poses the greatest threat to the future of privacy online. In comparison, 40 percent said Twitter posed the greatest threat, while 32 percent said Google. On the flip side, 73 percent of users said they trusted Amazon with their information.
During a conference on privacy held by Ad Age this week, McCann and other industry experts spoke about the study’s results.
“It’s not necessary that people feel Google or Facebook has done anything bad with data to date. It’s what might happen in the future. It’s a nebulous fear,” said Laura Simpson, global director of McCann Truth Central.
Federal Trade Commission commissioner Julie Brill also spoke at the session, advocating for a default “Do Not Track” function that would allow Internet users to prevent their browsers from leaving web cookies. Advertisers take advantage of these invisible browser trails to target advertising at users.
“I do think we need legislation around privacy. … We actually need specific data-broker legislation,” Brill said.
Facebook has expressed concerns over how its users perceive the site’s privacy policies. However, as the results of this study indicate, turning the tides of public opinion may be difficult to achieve.
Be sure to check out Abine’s DoNotTrackMe browser extension. It’s a great way to block web trackers and email spam!