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Americans want cell phone privacy

Despite the apparent widespread acceptance of the more and more liberal privacy policies of services and sites, the great majority of Americans do not want to have their data collected, their usage analyzed or their activity tracked, according to the results of a new study conducted by the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology.

The study surveyed 1200 households, asking what level of privacy they believe they have when using a new or used cell phone and what data they would and would not want companies to be able to track and store.  The results are startling, with most people believing they have more privacy than they actually do and the majority also being unequivocally against many of the more common kinds of data collection.

“We found that Americans overwhelmingly consider information stored on their mobile phones to be private, at least as private as information stored on their home computers,” the study, which made use of information collected by both wireless and landline phones, states.  As many as 59 percent of all respondents who were aged between 18 and 65 and over believed that their cell phones were ‘at least as private’ as home computers, with 19 percent regarding them as even more private.

Given the level of content that sites and apps consider accessible, that is most likely not the case at all, and worryingly only 37 percent were even aware that their cell phone stores data about what websites they have visited.