By MARK MARCUSETTEAssociated PressPublished Nov 09, 2019 09:18:24The United States spends $5 trillion a year on the internet and $4.7 trillion annually on the TV broadcast industry, but the data it contains is often missing, a new report finds.
The data is vital for a wide range of government and industry initiatives, such as cybersecurity, health care and financial services, said the report, called The Future of Online Data, released Wednesday by the Center for Public Integrity.
It found that the US spent about $5.3 trillion on online services and products in 2019, but it had only about $1.4 trillion online in 2020.
The data could be used by regulators, for example to monitor whether companies are breaking rules in other countries.
The study looked at nearly 3,000 websites, from Amazon to Google.
Its authors found that while some services were not designed to be used for legal purposes, they were nonetheless useful for consumers.
Some of the most popular online services included social networks, music streaming, video chatting and news aggregators, such to the Huffington Post and CNN.
The report found that in some cases, it could be difficult to know where the data was coming from, so it was not uncommon for consumers to find a website to use instead.
The report also found that some of the information stored on websites was not as accurate as the companies said it was.
Many were not using encryption to protect information, such a popular method that was commonly used in the 1990s, the report said.