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What tech companies do Americans trust? Just Google it.

Peter Griffin, Contributor. 02 March 2021, 11:53 am

A survey of American internet users has shown a sharp divide between tech companies when it comes to trustworthiness, with Facebook and Tiktok ranking lowest and Google and Amazon coming out on top.

The survey of 1,057 internet users undertaken by search engine optimisation company SEO Clarity, found that 40% of Americans don't trust TikTok and Facebook, 44% think politicians haven't done enough to protect citizens online and just 3 in 10 people think the tech giants don't pay enough tax.

The survey sees social media networks generally considered as less trustworthy, while big software, hardware and e-commerce vendors are more favourably viewed. Rounding out the top five most trusted big tech companies after Google and Amazon are Microsoft, Apple and Samsung.

At the other end of the spectrum, the blacklisting by the US Government of Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei has clearly influenced the public's perception of the company. Exactly the same proportion (30.4%) distrust the company as do consider it trustworthy. TikTok's bottom of the pack result also likely stems from efforts to limit the social network's activities in the US.

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Which leaves Facebook as the least trusted true blue American tech company. Having weathered numerous scandals and facing an antitrust lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission, that should come as no surprise.

The survey revealed an appetite for the regulation of social media companies. 

"This appears to be a bi-partisan viewpoint with 63% of Democrat and Republican respondents expressing a need for great regulation on such tech companies," SEO Clarity pointed out.  

"Between the age groups, 70% of over 60's believe more regulations are needed, compared with 59.7% of those between 25 and 40 (Millennials)" 

But when it comes to who exactly should do the regulating, the results were mixed. While 34% of respondents believe an independent regulatory body of experts should police the activities of social networks, 30% suggested it should be left to the companies themselves - which is the current default position. 

Elsewhere, the survey reveals some interesting perceptions around data privacy. Three-quarters of respondents say they are concerned about data gathered by wearable tech devices, while one in three think smart speakers pose a risk to children.

But Google again showed its trusted status when it came to Americans' willingness to have their data collected. With 57.9% of people believe Google has the "users best interests at heart", 80% believe the world is "a more knowledgeable place" because of their services and products.

There seems to be enthusiasm for the next big emerging tech category, driverless cars, with 57% saying they'd trust using a driverless car in the near future. Positive sentiment towards driverless cars is higher for males and younger people (22 - 30). 

And who is trusted most to release driverless cars? Electric car maker and autonomous technology leader Tesla ranks highest, followed by Apple, BMW, Ford and Audi. 

View the full SEOClarity survey results here.


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David Lane 05 March 2021, 1:51 pm

Trust must be largely based on wishful thinking in this case. The realisation that "these foreign corporations totally control my job and the rest of my digital existence!"... and, having realised that, they have to put on a brave, hopeful face... The term "Stockholm Syndrome" does come to mind...

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