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Survey: Many Don’t Understand Facebook’s, Google’s Privacy Policies

LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Image(NEW YORK) -- Have you ever read the privacy policies of Facebook and Google?  Did you understand what you were reading?  Well, it turns out many people don't.

A new survey by Siegel+Gale, a strategic branding firm, shows many people have very little understanding of the privacy policies and find them to be even more confusing than credit card agreements and government notices.

On a scale of 0 to 100, with a score of 80 indicating good comprehension, respondents who read Facebook’s and Google’s privacy policies scored just 39 and 36, respectively.

In comparison, 70 percent of respondents in similar studies correctly answered comprehension questions about government notices, and 68 percent of respondents gave the right answers to questions about credit card agreements.

Additional findings from the Siegel+Gale survey:

-- After reading Google's privacy policy, 47 percent of respondents said they felt less comfortable with how the company collects and stores information about their activities.  Just 33 percent of Facebook users said they felt comfortable after reading that company's policy.

-- After understanding the policies, 36 percent of Facebook respondents and 37 percent of Google respondents said they would change their online behavior.

-- Just 20 percent of respondents correctly knew how to block outside applications and websites from accessing their information on Facebook.

-- More than half of Google users involved in the survey were not aware that the company’s privacy policy also applies to their use of Google Maps, Google Talk, Blogger and YouTube.

-- Only 38 percent of respondents understood that Google connects search activities to a user’s IP address whether or not they sign into a Google account.

The Siegel+Gale survey involved more than 400 respondents.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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