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Joint Center: Increased Consumer Education and Choice Needed to Address Privacy Concerns for New Internet Users, Forum Participants Say

WASHINGTON July 27, 2011 Washington

The New Digital Profile: Managing Privacy in an Evolving, Mobile Internet, Washington, D.C.

Panel members stressed that education is critical to raising both awareness and transparency for consumers as innovation has established multiple platforms where a person’s data is collected, aggregated and stored.  This is especially true of new adopters, people of color, seniors and low-income populations.

Ralph B. Everett

A recent broadband study by the Joint Center found that 28 percent of African American Internet users have been online for less than five years, as compared to 18 percent of white users.

Danny Sepulveda John Kerry

According to the Federal Communications Commission, nearly 100 million Americans do not use broadband, and many non-users have cited privacy as a significant concern.  Panelists agreed that online privacy policies should be more accessible to consumers, even on mobile devices, and companies should be more transparent in the data being collected.  

Differences emerged, however, around the expectations for future legislation.  Link Hoewing, Vice President of Internet and Technology Policy at Verizon, said that any framework for policy legislation should be based on "norms and ground rules that promote innovation while protecting consumer interests."

Timothy Robinson Bobby Rush

The panel identified key areas that require additional exploration as to how the Internet privacy issue impacts new adopters.

Nicol Turner-Lee

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies is one of the nation’s leading research and public policy institutions and the only one whose work focuses primarily on issues of particular concern to African Americans and other people of color. To learn more, please visit www.jointcenter.org .

SOURCE Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

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