Via National Journal:

Big Brother is watching. And listening, and reading. And using your purchasing and communications history to hone algorithms that predict what you will buy and click on next.

Most Americans fear their privacy is eroding in all of those ways and more, the latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll has found. In an era of spreading surveillance cameras, cascading revelations about government’s collection of domestic and international communications, and online advertising triggered by users’ purchasing history, the survey said that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that business, government, social-media sites, and other groups are accessing their most personal information without their consent. […]

One question elicited a remarkably broad sense that “businesses, government, individuals, and other groups” are accessing a wide array of sensitive personal information without consent. Even before last week’s disclosures that the federal government had obtained massive amounts of Verizon phone records and collected torrents of data from online service providers, the survey found that Americans believe their cell-phone, e-mail, and other communications history is more likely to be accessed without their consent than any other form of private information. A stunning 85 percent of those polled said they believed it was likely (including 58 percent who said it was “very likely”) that such information was being disclosed without their approval.

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