Targeted online advertising has left many people slightly creeped outby the many ways strangers collect their online data. But a new study suggests that strangers aren’t the only people who are likely to collect personal information without your notice.
The study, which surveyed more than 1,000 online individuals, found that the percentage of significant others, spouses and parents who admit to digital snooping is significant and — at least among romantic partners — on the rise. It was commissioned by consumer electronics search engine and review site Retrevo.
About 33% of respondents admitted to checking a significant other’s email or call history without their partner’s knowledge at least once. Married couples were even more likely to snoop, with 37% of married respondents admitting the same.
Parents, however, were the worst online snoopers. Thirty-nine percent of mothers and 36% of fathers said they had done some digital snooping (across the board, women were more likely to admit to snooping than men). The majority of parents, 59%, also said that tracking their children’s location with a cell phone service or other device wouldn’t be a problem.
“Consumers may have just as much to fear from people they know than big corporations,” reads the study’s conclusion.Do these results surprise you? Do you think that there’s ever an excuse for online snooping? Is it right for parents to snoop on their children?