Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Data: Edelman Trust Barometer. Chart: Axios Visuals

Trust in tech — including companies specializing in AI, VR, 5G and the internet of things — fell all around the world last year, the Edelman Trust Barometer found in a massive survey of 31,000 people in 27 countries.

Driving the news: The study, provided first to Axios, is a special tech edition of data collected for the annual Trust Barometer. All-time lows, going back to comparable Edelman polling in 2012, were hit in 17 of 27 countries, including the U.S., U.K., France, China, Japan, Thailand, Brazil and Mexico.

Why it matters: High public esteem has helped protect the tech industry from critics and regulators, but that shield is weakening.

Details: Edelman found that favorable views of the tech sector globally dropped six points overall, to 70 (on a scale of 100).

  • That's still ahead of other sectors of the business world, but represents a significant decline from prior years and comes as trust in corporations overall has risen.

In the U.S., trust in the tech sector dropped more precipitously, falling nine points, to an all-time low of 57.

  • That puts tech basically in the middle of the pack of industries — behind healthcare, retail, manufacturing but ahead of the energy, automotive and financial services sectors.
  • Social media companies, which weren't included as a category in past years, achieved a trust score of 46, putting them below all other categories of businesses in the rankings.

Edelman said the main reason for the trust fall is the increasingly "complicated" relationship between the public and technology — including the spread of misinformation, rising privacy alarm and bias in artificial intelligence.

  • In the U.S., tech fell from the "most trusted" sector in the 2020 study, to ninth in the latest survey (taken in October and November) — behind food and beverage, health, transportation, education, consumer packaged goods, professional services, manufacturing and retail.
  • The study found that 52% of people surveyed — including 50% in the U.S. — fear that automation or other innovations will take their jobs.

Globally, look at the wipeout:

  • Trust in artificial-intelligence companies, and also internet-of-things businesses, fell in 25 of 27 countries.
  • Trust in "cleantech" firms fell in 23 of 27 countries.
  • Trust in the virtual-reality industry fell in 22 of 27 countries.
  • Trust in the 5G sector fell in 21 of 27 countries.

As a "roadmap for restoring trust," Edelman urges businesses to embrace a mandate to lead: "CEOs must lead on issues from responsible AI and automation to upskilling. Act first, talk after."

Edelman suggests principles to help Big Tech increase trust:

  • "Shared prosperity" through new jobs and skills.
  • Codifying trust through "fairness" and "explainability."
  • Increased diversity, equity and inclusion.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with further details.

Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.

Go deeper

What we know about the victims of the Indianapolis mass shooting

Officials load a body into a vehicle at the site of the mass shooting in Indianapolis. Photo:

Eight people who were killed along with several others who were injured in a Thursday evening shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis have been identified by local law enforcement.

The big picture: The Sikh Coalition said at least four of the eight victims were members of the Indianapolis Sikh community.

Pompeo, wife misused State Dept. resources, federal watchdog finds

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The State Department's independent watchdog found that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo violated federal ethics rules when he and his wife asked department employees to perform personal tasks on more than 100 occasions, including picking up their dog and making private dinner reservations.

Why it matters: The report comes as Pompeo pours money into a new political group amid speculation about a possible 2024 presidential run.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!