Despite playing a big part in daily life, tech companies are losing the trust of consumers. Per the latest Pulse Survey [download page] from The Public Affairs Council and Morning Consult, Technology is the rising up the ranks of the least trustworthy industries.
Between 2012 to 2017, the Tech industry was at the top of the list for trustworthy companies, but that trust has dwindled in recent years. While Technology remains the most trusted industry on a global scale, it ranks below only the Pharmaceutical (46%), Health Insurance (41%) and Energy (34%) industries for least trustworthy, with one-third (32%) saying tech companies are less trustworthy than average, and only 16% saying it’s more so.
This supports earlier data from Gallup which shows that more than half of US consumers have negative opinions of Big Tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon. Respondents cited negative information, size and power of the companies, online hate speech and privacy concerns as their reason for this distrust. This was a noticeable increase from the roughly one-third of consumers who said the same in 2019. Additional Gallup research shows that only 1 in 3 has trust in the Technology industry.
As for this latest survey, the results indicate that some 36% of US adults believe the Tech industry is under-regulated — up from the mere 11% who said the same back in 2013. This puts the Tech industry just behind the Pharmaceutical (40%) and Health Insurance industries (41%) in the share of Americans who believe the industry needs tighter regulations.
Overall, major companies have a 53% approval rating, outperforming the federal government (39%) and state governments (51%). However, it’s small business that has the highest public opinion, with a full 86% of US adults saying they have a somewhat or favorable opinion of small businesses.
Read the full report here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a September survey of 2,199 US adults.