The study found that three in 10 households have stopped at least two online activities. Financial transactions was the most likely activity to see a dip, with three in 10 saying they stopped conducting this type of business online. A quarter of respondents said they had stopped buying goods or services online because of these privacy or security concerns.
The biggest concern for Internet-connected households is identity theft, an issue for 63 percent of respondents.
However, in this age of digital anonymity, concerns about threats to personal safety were a concern to about 13 percent of respondents, a likely reason for the reconsideration in social media use.
The NTIA said in its analysis that its findings were troubling.
“NTIA’s initial analysis only scratches the surface of this important area, but it is clear that policymakers need to develop a better understanding of mistrust in the privacy and security of the Internet and the resulting chilling effects,” the agency stated in a government blog post.
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