word cloud survey dataWord cloud of our survey responses and focus group comments

When it comes to privacy rights and regulation, there is one key stakeholder group that seems to relate to each and every one of us: consumers. Consumers play a vital role in understanding current privacy regulations in place in addition to perceptions on whether these regulations have been sufficient or not when it comes to ensuring a sense of security and confidence when using technology. Moreover, consumers’ demands play a critical when it comes to ensuring that government and business policies on privacy do not maintain a status quo, but certainly move forward as our world becomes increasingly digitalized.

To better understand this stakeholder group, we conducted a survey among college students, which received more than one hundred responses, in addition to an in-depth focus group to better understand survey responses, conduct extended discussions on these issues, and get a better feeling on current sentiments regarding privacy concerns. We focused on the following key questions:

  • How carefully do you read privacy policies or “Terms and Conditions”?
  • How much do you think is your privacy protected today?
  • What do you think will be the state of our privacy in 20 years?
  • How much control do you think you have over your personal data while browsing the web and using technology?
  • Who do you think is to blame for the lack of extensive federal privacy policies and the regulation of major technology companies?
  • Why do you even care about privacy (if you do)? Does it have any tangible effect on your life? In what ways?
  • What are things you would change about current policies or what regulation would you enforce?