Your Privacy Concerns Probably Reflect Your Politics

Creepy or not? Your Privacy Concerns Probably Reflect Your Politics

New Study Carried out by SSRS for the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania

Are you creeped out by the idea of a company checking a job candidate’s credit history before deciding whether to hire her or him? Your answer could be tied to your political views.

A new poll on surveillance from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania found that Americans are deeply divided over tracking, both online and in real life. And political affiliation is a main predictor of Americans’ emotional reactions to surveillance, the researchers found.

Among people who identified themselves as Democrats, for instance, 62 percent said they felt “creeped out” by the idea of companies checking job applicants’ credit history before hiring them. By contrast, half of independents and just 29 percent of Republicans felt creeped out.

“The Republicans are most likely to be positive about surveillance,” said Joseph Turow, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the lead author of the study. “The Democrats are most likely to be negative, and independents are always in the middle.”