Facebook is now the least trusted tech company when it comes to personal data
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Over the past few weeks, Facebook has turned from a darling in the tech industry to a social pariah. As a result of the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, which involved perhaps the largest misuse of user data in history, Facebook has become anathema to tech CEOs, investors, and politicians. You can probably add the everyday American to that list.
A recent survey held by Recode and SurveyMonkey shows that the overwhelming majority of those polled trust Facebook the least with their personal data. When asked to choose which was the most mistrusted between giants like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Uber, and others, 56% of respondents pointed the finger at Facebook. Google was a distant second at a mere 5%, followed by Uber and Twitter at 3% each. 20% of those surveyed didn’t select any of the given companies.
While we could not find the total amount surveyed (and thus cannot draw an accurate estimate to the American population as a whole), it’s pretty telling of how heavily Facebook’s brand has been affected by its past decisions in handling its users’ data. It’s long been known that Facebook will sell user data to approved third parties, but the Cambridge Analytica scandal is on a massive scale (to the tune of 87 million users). Further, the data was acquired without the consent of affected users; these users were also not notified at the time of the collection and sale of their data. It’s small wonder, then, why Facebook is now so reviled in terms of how it protects its users’ data.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg just wrapped up a two-day interrogation by the United States Congress. What action the U.S. government chooses to take regarding Facebook and the use of personal data online, if any, remains to be seen.