Millennials Indifferent About Digital Privacy

Jim Liebelt | Senior Editor of Publications for HomeWord | Monday, April 27, 2015

Millennials Indifferent About Digital Privacy

*The following is excerpted from an online article from USA Today.

A study released by the American Press Institute found that only 20% of Millennials worry all or most of the time about their digital privacy.

Just two in 10 (20%) of Millennials worry about digital privacy “all/most of the time,” 46% said they worry “only a little” and 34% said they “don’t worry at all,” according to the study.

“There is no longer a such thing as privacy and it’s a little scary but honestly inevitable,” said Millennial Natalie Cary, 21, a 2014 graduate of George Mason University. “I’m not sure if it’s reasonable to be worried anymore because it’s already out there,”

Cary says she was once able to find an acquaintance’s phone number, birthday, full name, address and last time they voted after a simple Google search.

“It was terrifying,” said Cary of the incident. But regardless of what she discovered, the study shows that just 30% of Millennials are worried about someone they don’t know very well finding out too much information about their personal life. Of those concerned about privacy (66%), just 31% of them were concerned that someone would use information about their lives to stalk or harm them.

According to the study — conducted by the Media Insight Project, an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research — of the 66% of Millennials worried about their online privacy, only 37% worry about a potential job or school having an “unfair impression” of them based on what they find online.

According to Joyce Butterfield, a senior human resources specialist at Klockner Pentaplast, a plastic manufacturer in Gordonsville, Va., Millennials should think long and hard about this.

“Companies are sometimes going to the point of looking them up on Facebook,” said Buttefield, a baby boomer, who compares employers checking social media to a standard pre-employment background check and drug screening. “By looking at a candidate’s social media background the employers can possibly get a better idea of the type of person they have selected to join their company, more so then they can get from reading the cover letter and resume.”

In fact, a Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder last year found that 43% of employers surveyed used social media to research candidates.

And of that 66% from the API study, only 30% are worried about large companies having their information, and sometimes selling it.

The biggest concern, among those worried about privacy, is that someone will steal their identity or financial information (58%). Data breaches, both personal and financial, have become more common in today’s digital world.

Of those Millennials worried a lot or a little about privacy, 38% worry that someone would use their location to break into their home when they’re not there.

Source: USA Today