Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Study Suggests Users Don’t Expect Google To Collect as Much Data as It Does

Jason Kint, Nieman Lab:

Our findings show that many of Google’s data practices deviate from consumer expectations. We find it even more significant that consumer’s expectations are at an all-time low even after 2018, a year in which awareness around consumer privacy reached peak heights.

The results of the study are consistent with our Facebook study: People don’t want surveillance advertising. A majority of consumers indicated they don’t expect to be tracked across Google’s services, let alone be tracked across the web in order to make ads more targeted.

Half of those surveyed didn’t expect Google to combine data collected across the web with data collected in its apps. Only about a third of survey respondents indicated that they thought Google might collect information from non-Google apps and services.

Informed consent means that everyone should understand who gets their data and how they obtain it. Users should get to make that choice. So far, that choice has instead been made through voluminous privacy policies, browsers that default to automatically accepting all cookies, and companies that rely on the ignorance and complacency of users just trying to get things done.