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Consumer Confidential: Big Business casts long shadow online; National Doughnut Day

June 3, 2011 | 10:34 am

Simppic Here's your frankly-my-dear Friday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

-- For most Web surfers, the fear isn't that Big Brother is looking over their shoulder. It's Big Business. USC's Center for the Digital Future finds that nearly half of Internet-connected Americans age 16 and older worry about businesses checking what they do online. By comparison, 38% worry about the government doing so. Even so, the center's study finds that the average Net user spends more than 18 hours a week online. That includes browsing the Web (79%), banking (47%) and social networking and video sharing (46%). Another interesting tidbit: Almost everyone uses email -- even text-happy youngsters. Ninety-eight percent of Net users under 17 said they email, compared with 95% of those aged 18 to 24. The lowest level of email usage (94%) is among 45- to 54-year-olds.

--Whoo-hoo! It's National Doughnut Day! Since 1938, every first Friday in June is National Doughnut Day. The celebration of holey treats was the brainchild of the Salvation Army, which sought to honor the women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I. Both Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme are offering freebies for the big occasion. DD will provide a free doughnut with the purchase of a beverage. KK says you don't have to buy anything for your free treat, but the giveaways are only happening at select stores. Enjoy.

-- David Lazarus

Photo: It's a big day for Homer. Credit: Reuters