New Survey: American Consumers Are Ready to Change Up to Web3

The results of a new survey of American consumers from the Filecoin Foundation reveal that — while Americans trust the internet’s overall resilience, they don’t like how their data is managed by the current gatekeepers. In the survey results, they speak of precious memories lost online, worry about losing control of their personal information, and that they see the benefits of a decentralized internet. The survey provides insights into Americans’ perceptions of and experience with digital storage, today’s centralized web and decentralized alternatives — including Web3 technologies such as NFTs, metaverse, and cryptocurrencies.

The survey of over 1,000 American adults found that only 22% think that the internet is extremely or very fragile, yet over half (55%) indicate that they have lost digital information that they cared about.

Additionally, the findings indicate widespread data loss and lack of control over data. A majority of Americans (71%) have lost information/records due to link rot. Plus, 42% of Americans have been locked out of an account, 33% of Americans have lost photos they could never get back, 32% have been unable to access old email accounts, and 25% have lost data.

Americans don’t feel in control of their own data:

  • 83% of Americans want technology companies to do more to enable them the ability to control how their personal information is used.
  • Over three-quarters (76%) try to share as little personal information or data as possible online to have more control of their data.
  • 65% do not feel in control of how the information they share with websites and companies is used.
  • 61% feel they have lost control of what happens to their personal information online.

In a future world where Americans could experience the internet differently, they would like the ability to:

  • Safely store information (61%).
  • Choose exactly what information they share with others online (58%).
  • Choose exactly how long others can keep their information (50%).
  • Report problems, make fixes, and create new tools that make the internet better for everyone (44%).
  • Experience fewer disruptions caused by outages or platforms being down (42%).

Americans are open to alternative methods for storing and accessing their data:

Filecoin Foundation’s survey also revealed an openness among Americans for an alternative method for storing and accessing their information. The vast majority of Americans (85%) believe it is important that we preserve our most important information for future generations, and 73% think it’s important to preserve historical stories, evidence, and data, in addition to works of literature (62%), public government data (61%), human rights information (60%) and academic studies/research (59%). Americans want to have a place to safely store information, choose who has access and for how long, have the control and option to monetize their data, and have the choice to rely on more companies instead of a select few.

The findings underscore the need for a decentralized alternative to big tech that puts people in control of their own data, protects user privacy and security, and permanently preserves humanity’s most important information.

Methodology

On behalf of Ground Control Research, a leading opinion research firm, collected 1,005 responses from a representative sample of online American adults using Rep Data. The survey was conducted in August 2022. Population calculations were made using the 2021 U.S. Census Population & Household Estimates.

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Filecoin Foundation

Filecoin Foundation

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The Filecoin Foundation (FF) is an independent organization dedicated to developing Filecoin and related technologies. The Foundation does this by coordinating