Americans Feel Most Forms of Surveillance Are Unreasonable Trade-Offs for National Security

ExpressVPN, a leading VPN provider, has today announced the results of its Holiday Privacy Study. The study of more than 1,000 U.S. adults age 18+, conducted online by Propeller Insights on behalf of ExpressVPN in November 2017, found that online privacy is a top concern for Americans in the coming year and that most put a high premium on their privacy—but also that more than a third would be willing to risk their personal information to snag a hot holiday gift.

Americans Put a Premium on Privacy

Online privacy is a top concern for more than two-thirds (70 percent) of Americans in 2018. Americans are most worried that:

Credit score trust will be lost due to Equifax data breach – 33 percent

Anything kept in the cloud could suddenly be hacked – 29 percent

Trump administration will increase surveillance of Americans – 27 percent

Health information could be made public – 23 percent

A data breach could expose their private photos – 17 percent

Most Americans (58 percent) would not allow a third party to read their emails under any circumstances, but some would be willing in order to block spam (19 percent) or for the sake of national security (17 percent). Only 8 percent want their internet service provider to be able to see which sites they visit.

Trust in Government and NSA Is Low

When asked who they would least trust to monitor or read their emails, 27 percent indicated they would trust the government the least—followed by Google (23 percent), their internet service provider (21 percent), Yahoo (20 percent) and their employer (19 percent). Only 21 percent trust the NSA with their data, while six percent say they would trust Edward Snowden more than the NSA.

More than half (58 percent) of Americans believe that the government should be required to obtain a court-issued warrant to obtain the:

Content of communications between:

Americans and non-Americans – 31 percent

Non-Americans – 28 percent

Americans – 24 percent

Metadata of communications between:

Americans and non-Americans – 29 percent

Non-Americans – 27 percent

Americans – 22 percent

Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of Americans feel that most forms of surveillance are unreasonable trade-offs to protect national security, including:

Monitoring of phone conversations by the government – 45…

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