Study: Most Americans Distrust Facebook But Use It Anyway

facebook_blackbg_logoA recent nationwide poll determined that 96 percent of social media users fear that social networks don’t protect their personal information.

The study was a joint effort between the Red Campaign, Lincoln Park Strategies and the Craig Newmark Foundation, and served as a follow-up to a similar survey in 2014. According to this most recent poll, online identity theft, exposure to malware and hacking were among the most common concerns shared by social media users. Meanwhile, 72 percent of users said the social media companies’ use of cookies to track their online activity is an issue.

Another interesting finding from the study is that, despite the complete lack of trust in social media, people still continue to use the platforms. However, experts say that many users have a good understanding of the weaknesses in privacy law, which is a good sign that pressure could eventually build to change them.

“Most interesting to us is the lack of trust combined with the understanding, particularly among Millennials, that our privacy laws are too weak,” Marc Rotenburg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC), told the Daily Dot. “The critical problem is that our laws have failed to keep up with our technology… We believe that privacy may be the most important, least well understood issue of this election season.”

Social media platforms have become such a fully integrated part of our lives that it’s difficult to imagine not using them. That’s probably why so many users, despite knowing the privacy risks, still continue to engage with these sites. But hopefully a happy medium can one day be reached between sharing and security.