NPR logo The Data You're OK Sharing And What You Don't Want Others To See

Privacy & Security

The Data You're OK Sharing And What You Don't Want Others To See

How do Americans feel about privacy? It depends on what you consider "sensitive" information. A Pew Research Center survey finds that a vast majority of respondents are concerned about government surveillance and the commercial use of personal data, but they are OK with sharing some personal information — just not certain types.

Respondents say Social Security numbers and health data are "very sensitive" and should be off-limits to snooping. But they are OK with sharing data they consider "not too" sensitive or "not at all" sensitive: purchasing habits, political candidate preference and the media they like. Take a look:

"At the same time that Americans express these broad sensitivities toward various kinds of information, they are actively engaged in negotiating the benefits and risks of sharing this data in their daily interactions with friends, family, co-workers, businesses and government," Pew's survey authors note.