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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Americans using digital services would gladly switch to companies that are more committed to data privacy and feel frustrated that they don't have more control over their personal data, according to survey results shared exclusively with Axios.

Why it matters: Entire tech empires are built on assembling detailed digital dossiers on users, which can then be used to target advertising at them. This survey is the latest indicator that people are frustrated with that as the status quo, even as companies make efforts to be give users more control over how their data gets collected, stored and used.

Details: The survey found that Americans broadly want more control over what happens with their personal information and think that existing tools seem outdated and should be easier to use.

  • The survey, conducted in June, polled 1,018 Americans, selected to reflect the demographics of the country overall.
  • The company behind the survey is Transcend, which builds data privacy dashboards used by firms including Patreon and Robinhood so that their users can see what personal data gets collected and can request to download or delete it.

By the numbers: Among the findings:

  • 93% of Americans would switch to a company that prioritizes their data privacy.
  • 91% would prefer to buy from companies that always guarantee them access to their data.
  • 88% are frustrated that they don’t have more control over their data.
  • 73% reported finding the process of downloading their data from a comapny "outdated"; 32%, "hard"; 32%, "confusing."
  • About two-thirds said they want to be able to choose what data companies can and can't collect.

What they're saying: "They're pretty stark findings, and this first poll was conducted right in the middle of the pandemic," Transcend CEO Ben Brook told Axios.

  • "Even when consumers had other things that may very likely have been top of mind, privacy remained this very strong, deep-seated feeling. From our perspective it means that privacy passed its greatest test."

What's next: Transcend plans to continue conducting the survey annually. "Anyone thinking that this will go away is in denial," Brook said. "This is only a growing issue."

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Updated Nov 13, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Workers want their bosses to do better on climate

Data: KPMG; Table: Axios Visuals

Corporate climate performance plays a role in how workers think about their employers, not to mention talent recruitment and loss, per a survey from KPMG and the law firm Eversheds Sutherlands.

Why it matters: The outlook from directors and top executives from hundreds of companies provides some interesting data points on how the corporate world is and isn't addressing climate change.

Updated 6 mins ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

American officials and authorities in Haiti are working to try and free 17 hostages from a U.S.-based missionary group who were kidnapped in Port-au-Prince over the weekend, AP reported Monday.

The latest: Christian Aid Ministries said in a statement Sunday, "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children." The Ohio-based organization said they were on a trip to visit an orphanage when they were kidnapped Saturday.

China's economic growth slows

A worker assembles heavy truck engines in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, on Monday. Photo: Long We/Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

China's economy grew 4.9% in the third quarter of 2021 compared with a year earlier, the country's National Bureau of Statistics announced Monday.

Why it matters: The gross domestic product growth in the July-September period in the world’s second-largest economy marked the "weakest pace since the third quarter of 2020 and slowing from 7.9% in the second quarter," Reuters notes.