BOSTON: More than three-quarters (77%) of US consumers would support regulation requiring Google, Facebook and other online platforms to be more transparent about how and what personal data they collect from them.

And an even greater majority (82%) would favour laws that would require internet companies to disclose what information they collect and the third parties they sell to.

These are some of the headline findings from a survey conducted by research firm Recon Analytics, which questioned more than 1,000 US consumers about their attitudes towards the activities of internet companies.

The survey, which was conducted at the end of October, revealed that the great majority of Americans (73%) have concerns about how their personal data is collected and used.

A similar proportion (almost 77%) would like to see more transparency in the ads targeted at them based on the personal data that internet companies collect.

And 70% of consumers are unaware of tools that can be used to control or limit the usage of their personal data, while 29% do not know that many seemingly free online services are actually made possible by internet firms tracking and collecting their personal data.

Roger Entner, the founder and lead analyst at Recon Analytics, published the findings in a post that also included scathing criticism about some leading industry figures, such as Mark Zuckerberg, who is described as having a “cavalier attitude when it comes to privacy”.

“The all-encompassing surveillance and storage of personal data by internet companies with limited or no regulatory or legal checks and balances worries most Americans, rightfully so, especially when the attitudes of many of these companies’ senior leaders are taken into account,” Entner writes.

However, in at least one positive finding as far as internet companies are concerned, the survey also found that more than half (55%) of respondents say they would use their products and services more as long as consumers are given greater control over their own personal information.

Sourced from Recon Analytics; additional content by WARC staff