Internet Privacy Statistics That Every American Should Know

Muninder Adavelli
Muninder Adavelli

Updated · May 23, 2023

Muninder Adavelli

The Chief Content Strategist | Joined October 2021

Munni is also an ardent student of human-computer interfaces and user experience design. He makes th... | See full bio


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The United States has over  307.34 million Internet users as of 2022, making the country among the most prominent online markets in the world. 

90% of these Internet users believe privacy is essential - while 80% of American Internet users are concerned about companies collecting private data.

Sadly, 67% of U.S. Internet users are unaware of the data privacy and protection laws. To address the concern, 4 out of 5 Americans support policies safeguarding Internet privacy. 

Here are the other exciting Internet privacy statistics that we should know about.

 Editor’s Choice

  • 72% believe businesses track most of what people do online when using their cell phones.
  • 56% believe that the government monitors some of their activities, such as who they speak to or where they are.
  • 79% are concerned about how businesses use their data, while 64% are concerned about how the government uses it. 
  • 72% of U.S. Internet users believe identity theft and fraud are major troubling issues.
  • 86% of users want to do more to protect their online digital privacy.
  • Only 3% of Americans admit that they understand online privacy laws. 
  • 70% of adults claim that personal data security is worse than before.
  • 67% of U.S. Internet users admit being unaware of the country’s privacy and data protection laws. 

How Many Data Breaches Happen in a Year?

In 2022, there were 1802 cases of data breaches in the United States, affecting 422 million individuals. 

Most of the breaches recorded in 2022 were in the financial services, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors. The compromise involved data exposure, leakage, and breaches

In the US, small businesses are most vulnerable to cyberattacks, comprising 43% of the cases. Hackers expose around 3.8 million records annually, affecting around 111.7 million Americans. 

Most personal breaches involving U.S. citizens are due to a lack of digital literacy and insecure passwords and usernames. 

Data Privacy Statistics 

6 out of 10 Americans believe it is only possible to live our daily lives with the government or companies collecting data from Internet users. In contrast, 80% of Americans are concerned about how companies and the government use this data. 

Here are Internet data privacy statistics to guide you on your Internet usage. 

1. Every day, 1 in 4 Internet users are asked to sign a privacy policy. 

(Pew Research)

97% of U.S. Internet users say they have agreed to the terms and conditions of a company's privacy policy. Yet, relatively few have admitted to reading these policy reports regularly. 

56% admit that they do not understand the term "privacy policy" and thought it meant that companies would not share their data with third parties without permission. 

2. 79% of Americans are concerned about companies infringing their online privacy.


79% of adults are concerned about how companies are using the data collected from them. Meanwhile, 64% are concerned about how the government will utilize their personal information. 

Most of these stem from data collection from apps and platforms used for advertising or marketing.

3. 81% of Internet users in the U.S. feel they have no control over the data the companies collect. 


iOS apps track 72.6% of private user data, while 45% of websites use some cookie-tracking setup. As of February 2021, around 37% of all websites use non-secure cookies. 

Websites use cookies to recall your previous visits and optimize the user’s experience as they see fit.

4. 64% of Americans have personally experienced a significant data breach.


The incident caused a large share of people to lose trust in the federal government and social media sites to protect their rights to information.

76% of users also believe companies must take more action to protect their online data to ensure it is safe from hackers and breaches.

Social Media Privacy 

Data from social media profiles cause privacy issues for most users, so Internet users tend to set their social media profiles to private. However, data breaches from websites such as Facebook can still happen due to loopholes in systems.

Let’s take a look at the Internet privacy statistics of social media users:

5. 57% of online daters in the U.S. are concerned about data collection.

(Global Dating Insights)

While around 30% of U.S. adults admit to using a dating app or site, around 57% report being concerned about how much data are collected about them. Data collection involves older daters compared to their younger counterparts.

6. There were 900,00 social media frauds in 2021, resulting in a loss of around $770 million.


At least 1 in 4 people reported having lost money to fraud in 2021, and it was prompted by either a social media ad, a post, or a message. In the U.S., around 14.4 million identity theft and fraud victims were reported in 2018.

7. 21% of email and social media users have experienced a cyberattack at least once.


6% of those who experienced cyberattacks say the incident damaged their reputation. Cyberattacks can cause the theft of sensitive data like medical records and other information. 

It can also result in paralyzing systems, power disruption, phone and computer networks, or even national data breaches. 

(Private Internet Access)

Despite being more prominent on social media, teenagers and young adults are less careful about divulging their personal information on social media than adult Internet users. 

9. 44% of people have experienced some form of harassment on the Internet.


Around 850,000 cyberstalking or cyberbullying victims annually in the U.S., and 78% of them know their stalkers. 47% of the victims usually report emotional distress, 38% experience anxiety, and 19 % develop depression. 

Consumer Data Privacy

The internet is full of social media users and online consumers - most are unaware that their information is being shared when making transactions online. 

Get to know consumer data privacy statistics and how it affects Internet users.

10. Around 52% of U.S. adults admit that they refuse to use a product or service due to the amount of personal information collected from them. 

(Pew Research)

5 out of 10 Americans have decided against using a product or service due to data privacy concerns. At the same time, 76% of consumers prefer to avoid purchasing from a company they did not trust with their data. 

While 37% of consumers admit to switching companies or providers to protect their privacy better, a 3% increase compared to two years ago.

11. 63% of Internet users think that most companies are not transparent about how they use their data.


Businesses can have as much as a 4% increase in revenue, which translates to billions of dollars for multinational companies. Due to privacy concerns, 48% of customers have stopped shopping with a company. 

60% of Internet users say they would be willing to spend more in a company that would handle their data responsibly. 

(Pew Research)

As the issue of data privacy is becoming a primary concern among Americans, 4 in 5 U.S. voters support the enactment of the American Data Privacy and Protection Act. 

Its provisions include, among others, banning the sale of data to third parties without the user's consent and requiring companies to minimize the type of users' data they collect. 


Amid the alarming data breaches, identity theft, ad and location tracking, and cybercrime cases, most Americans are concerned and disappointed about how companies and governments handle the data collected from them. 

An overwhelming majority of U.S. Internet users also feel that the government must take more actions to protect their personal information and support the passage of legislation that would protect their right to privacy.


How important is privacy on the Internet?

Internet privacy is crucial because it provides you control over your data and identity. Without these controls, cybercriminals can use your information to advance their interest, such as identity theft or phishing.

What percentage of people have access to the Internet?

Around 4.95 million active Internet users worldwide in 2022, about 65.6% of the world population.

What are the biggest privacy threats online?

Data breaches, device tracking, viruses, and ransomware.


Muninder Adavelli

Muninder Adavelli

Munni is also an ardent student of human-computer interfaces and user experience design. He makes the vital connections between technology and the end user. He always finds the ultimate way to tell the story of software, to highlight its strengths and weaknesses in an accessible way. He often contemplates the dynamic relationship between humanity and technology over a pint of lager, while enjoying some classy classical rock.

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