In a country divided on policy, politics and culture, concerns about privacy emerge as something of a great uniter, Simmons data suggest. Americans of all stripes share a feeling of helplessness when they post personal information online. They want more personal control over information companies have gathered on them. And they don't place a lot of faith in the federal government to make the best decisions about protecting their privacy.
As NBC News reported, more than four in 10 Americans say that once a piece of personal information is online there's nothing they can do about it. Six in 10 say they want more control over the information companies might have on them. And only 18 percent say they trust the federal government to make the best decisions about how to protect their privacy.
That's a lot of misgivings and mistrust.
It's not enough to scare us off of our electronic devices, at least not yet. Only 22 percent of Americans say privacy concerns have caused them to reduce internet usage. But the broad agreement on the security and use of personal data online shows this is a Washington debate that people care about.