Facebook is now America's least trusted tech giant, according to a new survey conducted by SurveyMonkey and Recode. More than half of the representative sample of interviewees pointed to the world's largest social media network as the major technology company they trust with their data the least, whereas the second most common answer was Google which amounted to five-percent of all responses. Survey participants were asked whether their least trustworthy company is present on the list encompassing Facebook, Google, Twitter, Snap, Apple, Uber, Amazon, Microsoft, Tesla, Netflix, and Lyft, with every fifth respondent saying the firm they distrust the most isn't among those.
The finding is believed to be a direct consequence of the Cambridge Analytica scandal that's still unraveling, having already drawn significant regulatory scrutiny to Facebook. The company's co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg participated in a joint congressional committee hearing on the matter yesterday, having been grilled on the matter for hours. The controversy stems from a 2014 incident that saw the political consulting firm pay one academic to access data from his Facebook quiz app which harvested information of some 87 million users despite the fact that only around 270,000 of them consented to it. As the service also collected information from their Facebook friends, it was accused of harvesting data in an improper manner, with one whistleblower also alleging it did so to fight an information war in the employment of the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election, a notion that Cambridge Analytica firmly denied.
Facebook is presently being investigated over the matter by the United States Federal Trade Commission and authorities in the European Union, with many industry watchers predicting the company is likely to be hit with significant fines and regulations as a result of the incident. Several other firms practicing misleading data harvesting on Facebook have been banned by the social media juggernaut in recent days, with Mr. Zuckerberg vowing the Menlo Park-based company will mature and start doing more to proactively combat such mass misuse of user data going forward.