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US Consumers Clueless About Online Tracking 228

Arashtamere writes "A study on consumer perceptions about online privacy, undertaken by the Samuelson Clinic at the University of California and the Annenberg Public Policy Center, found that the average American consumer is largely unaware that every move they make online can be, and often is, tracked by online marketers and advertising networks. Those surveyed showed little knowledge on the extent to which online tracking is happening or how the information obtained can be used. More than half of those surveyed — about 55 percent — falsely assumed that a company's privacy polices prohibited it from sharing their addresses and purchases with affiliated companies. Nearly four out of 10 online shoppers falsely believed that a company's privacy policy prohibits it from using information to analyze an individuals' activities online. And a similar number assumed that an online privacy policy meant that a company they're doing business with wouldn't collect data on their online activities and combine it with other information to create a behavioral profile."

Use the Force, Luke.