The Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) released a survey showing that Millennial Americans – like older generations – are concerned about the privacy of their online personal information and whether online technology and social media companies are taking the appropriate steps to safeguard the personal information of consumers.

As revealed by the survey, three-quarters (74%) of all U.S. adults worry that their financial and personal data will be hacked. Three out of four (75%) are not in favor of their online data being used to make content and advertising more relevant, or for commercial purposes (76%). And, of note, a very strong consensus exists among Americans (72%) for a single, nationwide online data privacy law. These trends are common across different demographic groups of consumers; rural and urban, younger and older, and consumers of different races share similar views on online privacy.

The findings related to Millennials are of particular interest:

  • A strong majority of Millennials – two-thirds (67%) – are worried about their personal financial information being hacked from the online / social media companies they use.
  • Seven out of 10 (69%) Millennials are not okay with their online data being collected and used even if it makes online searches, advertisements and content more relevant.
  • A very strong majority – nearly three-quarters (74%) – of Millennials are concerned with how tech / social media companies are using their online data and location information. 
  • The majority of Millennials (64%) believe a single, nationwide data privacy law is necessary, while an even larger percentage of older adults (75% 35-54, 77% 55+) think so, too. A mere 10% of Millennial Americans disagree that there should be a single, national privacy policy.

Millennial Americans, which represent more than a quarter of the nation’s population, are deeply concerned about the privacy of their online personal data. Not surprisingly, the concerns of Millennials track those of millions of Americans who have seen numerous data breaches and are aware of the misuses of their personal data by some companies in the internet ecosystem.

“It’s been assumed by some that Millennials are okay with the unrestrained online collection and use of their data, because they grew up with the internet,” said former Rep. Rick Boucher, Honorary Chairman of IIA. “These data show otherwise: The views of Millennials are remarkably aligned with older adults on data privacy issues. Americans of all ages want Congress to act by crafting a single, nationwide framework for safeguarding their online personal information.”

The report is at