US privacy confidence at new low

91% of Americans believe that consumers have lost control over how personal information is collected and used by companies, according to a survey. 80% also felt that Americans should be concerned about surveillance, Pew Research suggested. It looked at attitudes to privacy and data in the wake of Edward Snowden’s allegations about government snooping.
One expert described the findings as "unsurprising". The high level of media attention given both to the Snowden allegations and to large-scale data breaches among well-known US brands means concerns about privacy are at an all-time high, according to report author Mary Madden.
"There is both widespread concern about government surveillance among the American public and a lack of confidence in the security of core communications channels," she said. "At the same time, there’s an overwhelming sense that consumers have lost control over the way their personal information is collected and used by companies."
Since contractor Edward Snowden began leaking details of the surveillance programs used by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the British intelligence agency GCHQ, firms have sought to reassure customers that their personal data is safe. Some, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple and Google, have promised higher levels of encryption for personal data to make it harder for governments to snoop.