Survey says ‘Big Brother' is here
NEW YORK — There's little wonder why George Orwell's novel “1984” is seeing a resurgence in sales.
More than half of Americans polled in a survey released Thursday said they agreed with the statement “We are really in the era of Big Brother.”
The survey from the University of Southern California was conducted last year, before recent revelations of large-scale, secret government surveillance programs. Yet it still found that some 35 percent of respondents agreed that “There is no privacy, get over it.”
A growing number of Internet users said they are concerned about the government checking on their online activities, according to the survey. But even more people were worried about businesses doing the same.
The USC Annenberg School's Center for the Digital Future has polled more than 2,000 U.S. households about their Internet and technology use each year, with the exception of 2011, since 1999.
Forty-three percent of Internet users said they are concerned about the government checking what they do online, up from 38 percent in 2010. But 57 percent said they were worried about private companies doing the same thing — up from 48 percent in the earlier study.
A 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center found that almost three-quarters of Americans are concerned that businesses are collecting too much information about people like them, while 64 percent had the same worry about the government.
In addition to their views on privacy, the most recent report also found that 86 percent of Americans are online, up from 82 percent in 2010.