It’s been a rough year for the world’s most influential social media platform, whose co-founder and CEO made the trip across this country this week for some good old fashioned congressional grilling. While Mark Zuckerberg fielded questions about political bias, liability for content, illegal opioid sales and de-platforming “unsafe” Diamond & Silk, Recode asked Americans about which tech companies they trusted least with their personal information.
While you might be able to guess the results, the gap is rather remarkable: Respondents to the SurveyMonkey/Recode poll overwhelmingly chose Facebook over any other tech company.
Over half (56%) of respondents said they trusted Facebook least with their personal data. The company that came in second was a very distant second: Just 5% said they trusted Google least. Tied for third with 3% were Uber and Twitter, followed by Snap, Apple and Amazon, which each got 2% of the “least-trusted” vote. A fifth (20%), answered none of the above.
The issue of Facebook’s protection of user data came to a head when The Guardian published accusations of a whistleblower and former employee of Cambridge Analytica, which the Trump campaign used for awhile to help with its targeted ad campaigns. The employee accused the company of having unethically mined Facebook data, but subsequent reports revealed that the platform largely allowed those actions not only for Cambridge but other entities, including Obama For America.
Zuckerberg has since made a series of public statements addressing the Cambridge issue and reiterating his company’s commitment to protecting users’ profiles.
“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” Zuckerberg wrote in a statement published on the platform in March. “I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.”
Last June, Facebook announced that the platform had topped 2 billion monthly users. While Facebook’s stock has fallen over the last three months, its trend line has been extremely good since 2012, enjoying relatively steady growth over that five-year period. Even with the current dip, the company is still valued far above its 2016 levels.