January 28, 2009 By News Report
Consumer Policy Solutions yesterday released a new survey examining consumer awareness and understanding of online privacy. Because today is Data Privacy Day, this is an especially timely survey intended to help raise consumer awareness of privacy issues and give consumers the knowledge and tools needed for the privacy they desire online. Many consumers are not fully aware of the implications of their online activity and the "virtual breadcrumbs" they inadvertently leave behind when roaming from site to site.
This survey, which follows closely on the heels of a Consumer Policy Solutions survey released in May that revealed protecting personal privacy is a top consumer concern, takes a closer look at consumers understanding of online privacy. Many respondents were unaware of the tracking, collecting and sharing of information that occurs as a result of online activities.
"Consumers care about protecting their privacy on the Internet, but they do not necessarily know how to protect themselves nor do they understand how the process works," said Debra Berlyn, president of Consumer Policy Solutions. "Today is a great day to raise awareness of what the issues are for consumers. I think our survey serves as a good gauge of how consumers view their privacy online."
In response to the findings of the survey, Consumer Policy Solutions is launching a Web site dedicated to educating and informing consumers about online privacy issues.
The survey found that:
Consumers think they are knowledgeable about online privacy, but many are unaware of how their activity and behaviors can be followed and collected online.
Consumers do not always read privacy policies.
Parents know less than they think about their children's privacy online when it comes to sites tracking their children's online activity.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.