State To Start Data Privacy Survey

The state Division of Consumer Protection is starting a data privacy consumer survey to give New Yorkers the opportunity to weigh in on data privacy issues and inform policymaking.

The initiative follows and is in conjunction with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s call in February for the state Department of State, in partnership with the state Department of Financial Services and other state agencies, to investigate reports that Facebook is secretly accessing personal information of users. The survey is available at www.ny.gov/content/new-york-state-data-privacy-consumer-survey.

“In the Digital Age nearly every New Yorker has an online presence and consumers are an important resource for identifying ways to make the internet safer,” Cuomo said. “This survey will provide policymakers with important insight into data privacy issues that will inform our efforts to create effective policy that prevents online companies from misusing or abusing personal data.”

The new survey asks respondents about the number of smart devices in each household, the operating systems being used and whether they know how to access privacy settings on social media, apps and Internet browsers.

It also asks consumers to describe the types of personal information they believe is being collected, stored or sold by social media outlets, apps and/or browsers; any specific experiences or concerns regarding the collection or sharing of such information without permission; and what future data privacy consumer protections would make the consumer feel safe.

The results of the survey will be used to inform New York state’s policies regarding the online marketplace and social media, including possible new laws and regulations.

The Division of Consumer Protection’s Consumer Helpline is 800-697-1220, available Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Consumer complaints can be filed at any time via the division’s website.

The division can also be reached via Twitter at @NYSConsumer or Facebook at www.facebook.com/nysconsumer.

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