Technology

Poll finds distrust of Facebook, TikTok and Instagram

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Tech giants may rely more on European Union laws than U.S. laws to police what happens on their sites.

Most Americans distrust TikTok, Facebook and Instagram with their personal information and data, according to a Washington Post-Shcar School poll released Wednesday. 

Seventy-two percent of respondents said they distrust Facebook. Other platforms under the same Meta parent company didn’t fare much better, with 60 percent of those surveyed saying they distrust Instagram and 53 percent said they distrust WhatsApp, based on the poll. 

Sixty-three percent of surveyed Americans said they distrust video-sharing app TikTok with their data, according to the poll. 

The poll found slightly lower levels of distrust of other tech giants, with 40 percent saying they don’t trust Amazon and Apple, and 42 percent saying they don’t trust Microsoft.

Forty-seven percent said they don’t trust Google, but a higher 53 percent said they don’t trust Google-owned YouTube with their data, according to the poll. 

Facebook has faced the brunt of criticism in recent months after the release of internal company documents by company whistleblower Frances Haugen. The poll found that 56 percent of respondents said Facebook has a negative impact on society, with just 10 percent saying the company has a positive impact. 

The poll comes as lawmakers in Congress weigh proposals to regulate the tech giants, including on privacy issues. Sixty-four percent of respondents said the government should “do more” to regulate how internet companies handle privacy issues. 

Earlier this year Apple made a significant change in a software update that now requires apps to ask users before they track their data across outside apps. The update was criticized by Facebook, which brings in a large amount of its revenue from targeted ads, but the Post’s survey found that the majority of Americans find targeted ads “invasive” and “annoying” rather than “helpful.”

Seventy-nine percent of respondents also said that tech companies do not provide enough control over how information about user activities is tracked and used. 

The poll surveyed 1,222 adults including 1,058 internet users between Nov. 4 and 22. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points.

Tags Amazon Apple Big tech Facebook Google Instagram Internet privacy META Microsoft Targeted advertising tiktok YouTube

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