POLL: 72% of Americans say they distrust Facebook with their data

A recent Washington Post-Scholar School poll found that most Americans do not trust Facebook and other social media services with their personal information. They also responded, saying that targeted advertisements are invasive and annoying.

The survey was conducted through November among a sample of 1,122 United States adults that were chosen at random. Most of them admitted to using social media heavily, but 64 percent responded that the government should have a larger role in limiting and controlling tech giants.

Seventy-two percent overall indicated their general distrust in Facebook with regard to handling their personal data, saying they are not sure that tech groups will be responsible with that information. They added that the companies do not give enough options for users to control how they are tracked and monitored while using the social media services. 

According to the survey, Americans also have a high level of distrust in Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Google-operated YouTube, while results for Google, Microsoft, and Apple were mixed.

Those surveyed reported a slightly higher level of trust in Amazon, with 53 percent saying the trusted the company “a good amount” or more. Furthermore, only 10 percent responded that Facebook has a positive impact on society, while 56 percent said the impact is negative.

The Washington Post article detailing the findings told the story of Mary Veselka, a 30-year-old who resides in Pearland, Texas. She and her family use many Apple products as well as a variety of social media platforms, but she noted her opinions of the technology.

“We go into it knowing that we can’t really trust them, but I don’t think we can get around not using it,” she said. “I’ve tried giving up Facebook for a period of time…It’s just not really something you can do and still maintain a regular social life.” 

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