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Americans Say, 'Bring On the Data Privacy Regulations!'

Most Americans would like to see GDPR-style laws enacted in the US, a new survey found.

Identity management company Janrain polled US internet users in April, putting this question to respondents: "The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will give European Union citizens greater control over how businesses can use their personal data. Would you like to see similar laws enacted in the US?"

Fully 68% said yes, while 10% said no and the remainder were unsure.


of US internet users say they'd support GDPR-style rules in the US


The survey suggests a consumer mindset that is generally wary of the ways that digital companies make use of personal data. Just over half (51%) of those polled said they were "very concerned" about the security and privacy of their data, and 43% were somewhat concerned.

What's more, a significant portion of the respondents, 42%, agreed with the statement, "I don't think [websites] care about using our data responsibly or securely at all."

Almost three-quarters (73%) said that websites know too much about them.

The survey did not examine the extent to which respondents were previously familiar with the GDPR. (The poll spelled out some of the provisions of the law.) But earlier studies have suggested that it is little known in the US.

A January survey by MediaPro found that 59% of respondents—a broad group of US adults who are employed in various industries—knew little to nothing about the regulations. Just 4% said they knew "a lot."

Putting the GDPR in Perspective

See a video presentation by eMarketer analyst Lauren Fisher laying out the basics of the GDPR and what it takes to be compliant.

eMarketer PRO subscribers can read Fisher's full report on the law, "GDPR: What Companies Need to Know Now."

eMarketer's "Behind the Numbers" podcast will focus on GDPR all week. The first episode in the series looks at consumer attitudes in the EU and around the world.




Even among employees in the tech sector, there appears to be a fair level of ignorance of the rules. Crowd Research Partners and Cybersecurity Insiders polled more than 500 tech professionals in March and found 6% were totally unaware of the GDPR, while another 19% professed limited familiarity with it.