Media, Entertainment and Sport

83% of Americans want tougher regulations for data privacy

A man poses with a magnifier in front of a Facebook logo on display in this illustration taken in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, December 16, 2015. Facebook Inc said on Wednesday it is testing a service that will allow users of its Messenger app to hail Uber rides directly from the app, without leaving a conversation or downloading the ride-hailing app.  .  REUTERS/Dado Ruvic      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - GF10000268231

But fewer believe in US government’s ability to take on the tech giants. Image: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Farid Ben Amor
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In the wake of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress, a Harris X poll showed a huge majority in favour of greater legislative control on the tech giants.

Of more than 2,500 people surveyed, 83% thought regulation was needed – and 62% believed it was on the way within the next few years. Older respondents were most in favour of Wall Street-style controls on Silicon Valley, with 62% for, in comparison with 47% of Gen X, and 44% of millennials.

Of particular concern were newsfeed items, search-engine results and advertising targeted according to political views or affiliations: 40% demanded regulation, against 27% who would oppose government measures.

But there was less belief in the US government’s ability to go head-to-head with the tech giants: only 38% thought it was capable of effective measures. The Cambridge Analytica revelations have undoubtedly crystallized public concerns about the use of data: only 49% thought regulation was necessary as recently as November last year.

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