The Times West Virginian

Community News Network

December 25, 2013

Americans uneasy about surveillance but often use snooping tools

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

"Whatever you do on your phone, you shouldn't mind anybody seeing it," said Nia Farmer, 18, a Howard University student whose family owns a place in Ashburn Village. She is okay with NSA efforts to locate terrorists, even if it means collecting information from her phone. "That's all there to protect us," she said.

Farmer is even fine with her mother's insistence on tracking her whereabouts until she turns 25. After all, her mother has been watching her movements remotely since she got her first phone at age 10. "Legally, I'm an adult," Farmer said, "but I keep it on for her because it's all about staying safe. Anyway, if I turn off the app, she gets right on the phone, so I might as well just keep it on."

In the few years since smartphones, social media and the plummeting cost of video technology made it cheap and easy for people to track each other, Americans have grown so comfortable with these technologies that large majorities say they take little or no precautions to protect their digital privacy. Nearly six in 10 Internet users do not use tools that can block websites from tracking their behavior, seven in 10 say they have not deleted online posts that might be embarrassing, and more than eight in 10 say they never encrypt their communications or use tools that allow people to browse anonymously.

Those who act to defend their data are more likely to be male, conservative and well educated.

John Burke, 70, is retired from a career in federal law enforcement and has been disappointed, even angered, by news reports about the NSA's approach to collecting data from U.S. citizens. Burke eschews Facebook and other social media, avoids giving out his Social Security number and tries to steer clear of businesses that sell customer information to other marketers, but he wonders if the effort is worthwhile. "I doubt my precautions are very effective," he said. "We really have no way of knowing what anyone does with our information, and especially what the government does."

Text Only
Community News Network
  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

    Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.

    July 22, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 2.00.42 PM.png VIDEO: Train collides with semi truck carrying lighter fluid

    A truck driver from Washington is fortunate to be alive after driving his semi onto a set of tracks near Somerset, Ky., and being struck by a locomotive, which ignited his load of charcoal lighter fluid.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 21, 2014

  • Malaysians wonder 'Why us?' after second loss of airline jet

    It was all too familiar. Grieving families rushing to airport. The flashing television graphics of a plane's last radar appearance. The uncomfortable officials before a heavy thicket of microphones.
    For many Malaysians, the disappearance of Flight 370 in March has been a long trauma from which the nation has not yet recovered.

    July 18, 2014

  • A quarter of the world's most educated people live in the 100 largest cities

    College graduates are increasingly sorting themselves into high-cost, high-amenity cities such as Washington, New York, Boston and San Francisco, a phenomenon that threatens to segregate us across the country by education.

    July 18, 2014

  • Facebook tests button to let people shop from its website

    Members on desktop computers or mobile devices can click a "buy" button to make purchases through advertisements or other posts on the world's largest social network, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Thursday in a blog post.

    July 17, 2014

  • The terrible history of passenger planes getting shot out of the sky

    What is more clear is that, if initial reports are true, this would be the deadliest incident of a civilian passenger plane being shot down in modern memory. In some instances, the causes of the disaster are still shrouded in mystery. Here are some of the worst events.

    July 17, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Featured Ads