Amid growing fears about online surveillance and data theft, Americans are increasingly taking steps to remove or mask their digital footprints on the Internet, a study showed Thursday.
The Pew Research Center report said 86 percent of US Internet users have taken some steps to avoid online surveillance by other people or organizations.
"Users clearly want the option of being anonymous online and increasingly worry that this is not possible," said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center's Internet Project and an author of the report.
"Their concerns apply to an entire ecosystem of surveillance. In fact, they are more intent on trying to mask their personal information from hackers, advertisers, friends and family members than they are trying to avoid observation by the government."
"These findings reinforce the notion that privacy is not an all-or-nothing proposition for internet users," said Mary Madden, a Pew researcher. "People choose different strategies for different activities, for different content, to mask themselves from different people, at different times in their lives. What they clearly want is the power to decide who knows what about them."Read More