Privacy & Technology

Americans want control of their cyber lives. They do not want a third party (whether it’s the government or tech companies) collecting personal information without their knowledge unless provoked by outside extreme circumstances, such as terrorist suspects. They strongly support the concept of the “right to be forgotten,” which was established by a European Court of Justice that found individuals have the right to request certain online links containing information found to be irrelevant or inadequate taken out of search results.

  • A majority of registered voters (64%) across all demographic groups believe “the federal government has gone too far when it comes to collecting information about Americans from technology companies” compared with 36% who believe “the federal government is striking the right balance” between personal privacy and public safety.
  • More than eight in ten registered voters (81%) believe “except in extreme cases, tech companies should work to protect customers’ privacy and alert U.S. citizens as soon as possible if their personal information has been shared with the government or a law enforcement agency.”   
  • Almost nine in ten registered voters (88%) support a proposal that would grant individuals the right to ask companies like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to remove personal information—such as photographs and articles—that appear in their online search engine results. This is similar to the European law known as the “right to be forgotten.”

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