Facebook Privacy Policies Less Trusted Than Google, Amazon [Harris Interactive Poll]

When it comes to being trusted online Facebook lags far behind competitors Google and Amazon according to a recent Harris poll. Survey participants were asked to rate how much they trust certain companies with their personal data.

Harris Interactive conducted its poll with 2,262 US adults. The company asked participants how comfortable they were with the way Facebook, Google and Amazon handles their personal information, specifically when it comes to ad-targeting. 66 percent of respondents were comfortable with Amazon’s use of past purchase data to recommend products while 41 percent of respondents said they trusted the way Google used prior website searches to serve ads. In comparison only about one-third of respondents trusted the way Facebook uses private data to focus consumer ads.

If the study had one silver lining it was that 52 percent of females between 18 and 34 years old (who were already aware of the company’s ad targeting data) were comfortable with Facebook ad targeting.

The Harris Interactive findings nearly mirror a similar poll taken in June by the teams as the Associated Press and CNBC. The AP-CNBC poll found that Facebook users were largely uncomfortable with the idea of purchasing goods and service they find through Facebook adverts.

Facebook has faced various lawsuits from internet users who believe the social network has overstepped its own terms of service policies, tracking internet activities even after customers have opted out of such tracking.

In examining the different in trust among the websites Placecast chief executive Alistair Goodman noted:

“In contrast, Amazon is a company just a few years older than Facebook, but they have created a scenario where consumers understand and accept the benefit their data provides for the service they are receiving—much like consumers’ acceptance of grocery coupons tied to purchase data.”

In comparison Harris Interactive found that 38 percent of users are comfortable with local merchants sending them phone offers using location-based services advertising. The survey also found that users between 18 and 34-years-old accept mobile advertising 51 percent of the time.