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MOST U.S. ADULTS WITHOUT WEB ACCESS DON'T WANT IT

Source: CNN.com

Posted on September 26, 2000

      The Pew Internet & American Life Project, a Washington-based research organization that monitors the impact of the Internet on society, recently released survey results that it said show half of the adults in the U.S. don't have Internet access and 57 percent of those non-users have no interest in going online.

      Nearly one-third of the survey respondents who aren't using the Internet now said they definitely don't plan to go online in the future, Pew said. That would translate to a total of about 31 million Americans without Internet access, added the organization, which surveyed about 12,750 people from March to August.

      Another 25 percent of the non-users said they probably won't get connected to the Internet, according to Pew. But it noted that most of the strongest Internet holdouts are "aging baby boomers and senior citizens... who are fretful about the online world and often don't believe it can bring them any benefits."

      On the other hand, Pew said, a "substantial majority" of under-30 survey respondents who don't use the Internet now said they expect to do so in the future. That suggests Internet penetration will eventually reach similar levels as telephones and televisions, the organization added, although it could take "an extended period of time, perhaps... a generation" to reach that point.

      In addition, Pew said the survey showed that Internet users want to know what Web sites do with their personal information, before they do it. For example, 86 percent of the Internet users who responded to the survey said they favor "opt-in" policies requiring companies to get permission from users before any of their personal information is shared with third parties.

      More than 90 percent of the respondents said companies should be punished for violating their own data privacy policies, according to the Pew report. Meanwhile, 81 percent said there should rules that govern how online businesses can track the Internet activities of visitors to their Web sites. On the other hand, 56 percent of the respondents said they didn't know that Web sites and online advertisers can track user activity by placing "cookies" on their computer hard drives.




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