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APPC research published in the Journal of Consumer Affairs

The current issue of the Journal of Consumer Affairs features an article summarizing findings from a national survey led by Annenberg School for Communication Professor Joseph Turow, Ph.D., and funded by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, to examine online consumers’ understanding of privacy rules and regulations. The survey data, originally gathered in 2005, was recently reexamined by Turow and article co-authors Michael Hennessy, Ph.D., senior statistician at the Annenberg School for Communication, and Amy Bleakley, Ph.D., research scientist at the Annenberg School for Communication, who found a disconcerting pattern in the ways Americans understand the rules of privacy in the marketplace.

The authors’ conclusion, borrowing from research on consumers’ reading of nutritional labeling, is that “a two-pronged approach of education and mandatory labeling may be required to make Americans aware of the data collection environment that surrounds them.”