A SimplicityLab™ Consumer Research Survey

Knowing more about privacy makes users share less with Facebook and Google

Is the personal information you supply to websites really private? And how are your online activities tracked and stored, and used to serve up information to you and marketers? In a March 2012 SimplicityLab survey of more than 400 respondents, we examined how well users understand the implications of Google and Facebook privacy policies.

Our primary goal was to evaluate users’ ability to understand the factual information conveyed in the communication. We also wanted to determine users’ perceptions of online privacy.

What we found was that users lack a clear understanding of Google and Facebook privacy basics, and they are frustrated and concerned. Among the key findings:

  • Users understand banks and government agencies better than Google and Facebook
  • Google and Facebook don’t fully explain what information is collected and how it’s stored and shared
  • Many users are frustrated with how little they know about their privacy online and what little they can do to control it
  • Users plan to reduce the amount of information they share with Facebook and Google

Learn more about this revealing survey and what can be done to protect and promote privacy online:


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