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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.

Expand chart
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.

Go deeper

Bipartisan group of senators seeks coronavirus stimulus deal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

At least eight Republican and Democratic senators have formed an informal working group aimed at securing new coronavirus spending during the lame-duck session, a move favored by President-elect Biden, two sources familiar with the group tell Axios.

Why it matters: It may be the most significant bipartisan step toward COVID relief in months.

FCC chairman to depart in January

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ajit Pai will leave his post as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Jan. 20, the agency said today.

Why it matters: Pai's Inauguration Day departure is in keeping with agency tradition, and could set up the Biden administration with a 2-1 Democratic majority at the FCC if the Senate fails to confirm another Trump nominee during the lame-duck period.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

GM's shrinking deal with Nikola

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

General Motors will no longer take an equity stake in Nikola Corp. or build its pickup truck, under a revised deal that still envisions GM as a key tech supplier for Nikola's planned line of electric and fuel cell heavy trucks.

Driving the news: The revised agreement Monday is smaller in scope than a draft partnership rolled out in September that had included a $2 billion stake in the startup and an agreement to build its Badger pickup.