Which Tech Companies Are Most – and Least Trusted – with Consumer Data?

December 10, 2021

This article is included in these additional categories:

Customer-Centric | Data-driven | Demographics & Audiences | Digital | Industries | Privacy & Security | Social Media | Technology | Youth & Gen X

CGOYouGov Trust Tech Companies Consumer Data Dec2021

About 7 in 10 (69% of) US adults agree that tech companies are too big. And, when it comes to the level of trust Americans have for tech companies to collect and use their personal information or data, a survey from The Center for Growth and Opportunity (CGO) and YouGov indicates that some companies are doing better than others.

The August survey of 1,000 US adults asked respondents to rate (on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 = completely distrust and 5 = completely trust) how much they trusted selected organizations to collect and use their personal information or data. Amazon garnered the highest level of trust among Americans, with 37.7% rating their trust in the e-commerce giant a 4 or 5. It was also the only tech company listed that has a noticeably larger share of respondents who trust the company than those who do not.

Despite being the brand with the strongest emotional bond with US adults, fewer than 3 in 10 (28% of) survey respondents say they trust Apple to collect and use their personal data. Instead, a little more than one-third (35.4%) say they distrust Apple with their personal data. This sentiment is felt the strongest by adults ages 30-44, with 4 in 10 (40.2%) saying they distrust the company on this measure.

Although the share of Americans who distrust companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft are higher than those who trust them, the difference pales in comparison to the three social media companies featured in the survey. 

TikTok is the tech company with the lowest level of trust — only 8% of respondents say they trust the company with their personal data, compared to 59.4% who distrust it. What’s more, while those who say they distrust TikTok is high across all age groups, more than half (52.5%) of adults ages 18-29 say they distrust TikTok with their personal data despite being the age group that uses the app the most

Facebook and Twitter also have a considerably large share of US adults who distrust the companies with their data (58% and 54.6%, respectively). Yet, other research shows that Facebook and Twitter are among the top three social media platforms where US adults regularly get news.

While Americans clearly do not trust social media companies to collect and use their personal data, most expect them to be responsible for what is posted on their platforms. A majority agree that social media companies should be held responsible for false or inaccurate content (62%) and offensive content (54%) posted on their platforms. Moreover, close to half (47%) of respondents agree that the government should be more involved in regulating social media companies. 

More information can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on an August survey of 1,000 US adults (18+).

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