Poll: Voters trust tech companies ahead of FBI on data security

A majority of voters trust major technology companies to protect customers’ personal information more than the federal government, according to a poll commissioned by The App Association. 

The results released Monday found that when given the choice, 54 percent of voters said they trust companies like Apple, Google and Facebook to do a better job securing their personal information. Another 21 percent chose federal agencies like the FBI ahead of tech companies. A large portion did not choose either.

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The survey was commissioned by the technology trade group and conducted by the firm Purple Insights.  

The poll showed most people are concerned about their private data being breached, and 7 in 10 believe hacking is increasing. 

The poll is meant to bolster the technology industry’s arguments as it battles the government over encryption. 

While the FBI dropped its demand for Apple to create software to help law enforcement break into the phone of one of the shooters in the San Bernardino attack, the government has continued to push a similar case in New York. Some lawmakers have also pushed legislation that would require technology companies to offer technical assistance to access the data. 

Earlier polls showed Americans are split when asked about the specific fight between Apple and the FBI, with a slim majority siding with law enforcement. 

A Pew Research Institute poll last year found only 31 percent of people were confident that records maintained by the government would remain private and secure. That number remained nearly the same for email providers and cable companies. Only 16 percent had confidence records of their activity done through search engines would remain private and secure. 

Monday’s poll surveyed 1,250 voters between April 11–14. It contains a 2.8 percentage point margin of error.