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Americans don't trust tech companies on data privacy

Americans have finally started to lose faith in tech companies' ability to protect their information, according to a survey fielded by HarrisX, a research consultancy, within 24 hours of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress this month.

Reproduced from Inaugural Tech Media Telecom Pulse Survey, HarrisX; Chart: Axios Visuals

And, the survey also finds that the majority of people want government to do more to regulate Big Tech, especially social media companies.

The numbers that matter:

  • 83% think we need tougher regulations and penalties for breaches of data privacy.
  • 67% support major online privacy and security legislation being considered in the U.S. (such as Consent Act) and Europe (GDPR).
  • 65% support the Honest Ads Act requiring political advertisements on social media to list who paid for them, just like political ads on radio, print and TV.
  • 59% say they support an Under 16 Privacy Bill of Rights, to ensure kids under 16 have the right to have their online data permanently deleted.
  • 53% believe large technology companies should be regulated by the federal government the way big banks are.

Yes, but: 38% think the federal government isn’t capable of regulating large tech companies, while 31% think it is capable.

Bottom line: A majority (58%) of people believe regulation of Facebook and other social media companies is inevitable. But it’s not clear they trust the government to get it right: 49% say of congressional representatives do not understand how Facebook works.

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