Speed Reads

Things that make you go hmmm

Survey: People trust the NSA over Google with their private information

Online survey firm Survata polled 2,566 people about their privacy, asking how upset they would be, on a 10-point scale, if various interests "gained access to all your personal electronic data." The higher the number, the greater the level of upset. This result surprised them:

For reference, respondents gave a 6.85 rating to their boss, a 5.93 to their parents, and a 4.55 rating to their spouse or significant other. The Google vs. NSA result was more surprising because the poll sample skewed pretty young — more than half were between 13 and 24. Survata co-founder Chris Kelly hazarded a guess as to why the NSA came out on top, when asked by CNET's Chris Matyszczyk:

We did not ask respondents for the reasons or motivations behind their answers; so we can only conjecture based on our previous research. One guess is that respondents assume the NSA is only looking for "guilty" persons when scouring personal data, whereas a company like Google would use personal data to serve ads or improve their own products. [Kelly, via CNET]

The results actually aren't out of line with other polls showing comfort with NSA data-harvesting, Matyszczyk notes. At the same time, people actively choose to use Google and Facebook. So, hmmm.